Rajnath leaves for Russia; to sign two key pacts

Rajnath leaves for Russia; to sign two key pacts

India and Russia will sign two key pacts for  cooperation in tackling all forms of terrorism and jointly fighting smuggling of narcotics during the three-day visit of Home Minister Rajnath  Singh to Moscow, officials said.

Singh, who left for Russia on Sunday, will  sign an agreement on cooperation between the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of Interior of the Russian Federation  in combating terrorism and organised crime.

The pact will  reinforce bilateral relationships through exchange and sharing of information, expertise, best practices and help in curbing terrorism and enhancing security in the region, a home ministry official said.

The proposed pact, which will replace the agreement of October  1993, is 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 home minister will hold discussions with Vladimir Kolokoltsev, minister for internal affairs of the Russian Federation, and other senior Russian leadership. The discussions would cover the entire gamut of bilateral, regional and international matters of mutual interest, the official said.

Singh will also sign a joint action plan between India's Narcotics Control Bureau and the Russian Ministry of Interior.

As both the countries have a long history of close cooperation on matters of shared security concerns, the visit will provide an opportunity to further cement ties between the two countries, the official said.

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