16th Indo-Russian Inter-Governmental Commission meeting begins today
The 16th Indo-Russian Inter-Governmental Joint Economic Commission meeting will begin here on Thursday during which the two nations will focus on expanding economic partnership.
Several new agreements are expected to be finalised in the meeting.
The Commission on trade economic, scientific technological and cultural cooperation will focus on expanding economic partnership between the two countries.
"Some more understandings are also expected to be reached before the summit level meeting between the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and the Russian President Dmitry Medvedev next month," said Joint Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs Ajay Bisaria.
"All the pacts and MOUs are expected to be signed during the Russian President's visit to India. The joint commission meeting will have a comprehensive review on all ongoing projects," he added.
External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna will lead the Indian side in the talks, while Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov will lead the Russian side.
Basaria further said that a number of future projects would also be identified in the meeting, which includes food processing, construction and engineering services, financial services and tele medicine etc.
The Commission will also look at the ways to strengthen bilateral cooperation in pharmaceuticals, energy, both conventional and civil nuclear, IT and Telecommunications besides advanced and applied sciences and high technology.
The Economic Commission, which is formally called the India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technological and Cultural Cooperation, had last met on October 21 in Moscow.
The Commission, which guides the conduct of economic cooperation, was set up in May 1992, and the first session was held in Moscow in September 1994. (ANI)
Thailand PM cancels Russia trip, Bout link denied
(AFP) – 1 hour ago
BANGKOK — Thailand's prime minister abruptly cancelled an imminent visit to Russia on Thursday, a government spokesman said, just days after the kingdom outraged Moscow by extraditing an alleged arms dealer.
Thailand expelled Viktor Bout, who is suspected of being one of the world's biggest arms traffickers, on Tuesday to face trial in the United States after a prolonged legal battle and fierce opposition from his home country Russia.
Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has since cancelled a trip to Saint Petersburg to attend a summit on tigers, but spokesman Panitan Wattanayagorn said this was to discuss constitutional amendments and denied any link to the extradition.
"The prime minister has assigned Suwit Khunkitti, the environmental minister, to attend the summit because next week parliament will debate charter amendments," Panitan told reporters.
"It has nothing to do with the Bout case."
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is due to host the four-day summit, which begins on Sunday and aims to halt the decline of the big cats.
Bout's sudden extradition came shortly after the Thai cabinet approved his handover in a move that prompted fresh fury from Moscow, which had vowed to do all it could to bring him home.
The Russian foreign ministry said his extradition was "illegal" and prompted by US pressure.
A top Russian diplomat in New York, where the suspect pleaded not guilty to terrorism charges on Wednesday, has also accused Thai authorities of taking away all of Bout's personal possessions.
The 43-year-old former Soviet air force pilot had been fighting extradition on terrorism charges since his March 2008 arrest after a sting operation in Bangkok involving undercover US agents posing as Colombian FARC rebels.
Thailand's Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya denied the extradition would hurt ties with Russia, despite Moscow's dissatisfaction.
"We still enjoy a cordial relationship with Russia. We should not let this single issue affect it," he told reporters.
PM won't go to Tiger Summit in Russia
Published: 18/11/2010 at 02:31 PM
Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva will not attend the heads of state Tiger Summit in Russia next week, but it has nothing to do with the controversial extradition of accused arms smuggler Viktor Bout, government spokesman Panithan Wattanayakorn said on Thursday.
The prime minister has to attend the joint parliamentary meeting on constitutional amendment, which is scheduled for Tuesday to Thursday next week, he said.
Natural Resources and Environment Minister Suwit Khunkitti will instead attend the summit, from Nov 21-24 in St Petersburg, Mr Panithan said.
He said ties between Thailand and Russia were still good, and that the government has been explaining the details of the extradition of Bout to the Russian government.
After this sudden extradition, the Russian foreign ministry strongly criticised Thailand on Tuesday.
It said on its website that "the illegal extradition resulted from unprecedented US political pressure on the government and judiciary of Thailand".
The Tiger Summit is part of the Global Tiger Inititiative, which has the aim that "by 2020 wild tigers across Asia will no longer face the risk of extinction - and will live in healthy populations within high conservation value landscapes that are managed sustainably for present and future generations".
It is due to be attended by heads of government from countries within the tiger's natural range and habitat.
Viktor Bout met with Russian diplomats
Nov 18, 2010 06:14 Moscow Time
Viktor Bout met in New York with Russian diplomats. The businessman complained that during the extradition journey he was “pressured” by the U.S. He was promised "certain benefits" in exchange for acknowledging what he never committed”. Bout rejected such proposals outright.
At the moment, the Russian remains in a New York prison. He has been appointed a public defense. Bout is accused of criminal conspiracy to kill U.S. nationals and officials, the acquisition and sale of antiaircraft missiles and arms to terrorists. The accused himself pleaded not guilty in court.