India, Russia to sign pact against terror

India, Russia to sign pact against terror

India and Russia are set to sign a comprehensive counter-terrorism cooperation agreement during Home Minister Rajnath Singh's visit to Moscow next week.

A meeting of the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday approved the draft of the agreement on cooperation between India and Russia for combating "all forms of terrorism and organised crime". The agreement will be signed after Singh's meeting with Russia's Internal Affairs Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev in Moscow.

The agreement will replace the existing India-Russia security cooperation pact, which was inked in October 1993. The officials of the Ministry of Home Affairs said that the new agreement would be "a step towards consolidating the benefits accrued in the field of security and seeks to jointly fight the new and evolving risks and threats". The new agreement would reinforce the relationship between India and Russia through exchange and sharing of information, expertise, best practices and would help in curbing terrorism and enhancing, security in the region, said MHA officials.

Singh and Kolokoltsev are also expected to sign a joint action or implementation plan for cooperation in areas of drugs and disaster management.

Moscow's new envoy to New Delhi, Nikolay Rishatovich Kudashev, called on Minister of State for Home Affairs, Kiren Rijiju, on Wednesday.

Kudashev told Rijiju that India and Russia had not only been stepping up bilateral cooperation, but also enhanced the level of cooperation in multi-lateral fora like Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and BRICS (a bloc comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa).

Rijiju said that India and Russia were facing the threat of fundamentalism and terrorism in various forms and asserted that both the countries stand together in the global fight to address the menace of terrorism. He reiterated that concerted efforts by cooperation of global community were important to eliminating this menace.

Rijiju and Kudashev accepted the necessity of cooperation in the fields of border security and facilitating international trade.

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