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India and Russia to send humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan

India and Russia to send humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi put out a joint statement agreeing to send humanitarian aid to conflict-riven Afghanistan but no mention of recognising the Taliban regime there. The joint statement was issued after the first official Indo-Russian Summit which saw Putin's second diplomatic visit to a country since the pandemic began.

"The leaders emphasised that Afghanistan's territory should not be used for sheltering, training, planning or financing any terrorist groups including ISIS, Al Qaeda, LeT etc. They reaffirmed their firm commitment to combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, including its financing, the dismantling of terrorist infrastructure and countering radicalisation, to ensure that Afghanistan would never become a safe haven for global terrorism," the statement read.

The first of its kind 2+2 summit was held in Delhi, along with talks between Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and their Russian counterparts, Sergey Shoygu and Sergey Lavrov. 28 agreements were inked between India and Russia during the meeting with significant implications for the strong bond between the two countries.

National security concerns and military technology were also on the table at the talks where both India and Russia pledged to work together closely on defense and military issues. Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla announced the signing of 10-year military-technical partnerships, as well as the plan to jointly produce the AK-203 assault rifles under the 'Make in India' initiative.

Shringla also said the supply of S-400 air defence missile systems had begun this month and "will continue to happen".

Issues such as relations with China and tensions in the Indo-Pacific were also discussed according to reports.

The statement added that the two sides had reiterated their joint efforts under the Roadmap for Cooperation in Hydrocarbons for 2019-24 to further deepen bilateral cooperation in the energy sector. India and Russia also vowed to enhance transport and connectivity while taking two-way trade to $30 billion by 2025.

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