MOSCOW: Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin today evinced Moscow's interest in India's "significant presence" in Russia's pharmaceutical and IT sectors, and said that it would go a long way in consolidating the strategic partnership between the two countries.
He also expressed satisfaction over the developing economic interaction between the two countries.
During Putin's 75-minute meeting with Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma at his countryside residence, Novo-Ogoryovo, Putin also said that he was satisfied by the 7.5 per cent growth in bilateral trade in Q1 of the current year.
He said that they hoped to achieve the US 10-billion target by the end of 2010.
"Prime Minister Putin evinced interest in India's significant presence in Russia's pharmaceuticals and IT sectors, which have been identified among the six priority areas of cooperation," Sharma told reporters.
Cooperation in space, energy, mining and telecom were other priorities identified by the two prime ministers during Putin's New Delhi visit in March.
Sharma said that seven Indian companies have come forward to invest in various ventures for producing affordable generic drugs and antibiotics in Russia, and two MoUs were about to be inked already.
Describing his meeting with Putin as "comprehensive, substantive and significant", Sharma said that a whole range of bilateral issues, including Defence, were reviewed during the parleys.
He, however, declined to comment on Defence issues as they were not under his jurisdiction.
Sharma said the issues relating to nuclear and conventional energy were also discussed during his meeting with Putin.
"We have enormous interest in enhancing investments in Russian oil and gas assets, including Sakahlin-3 project, and an ONGC team will be visiting Russia shortly to assess the Yamal gas fields offered by Moscow," Sharma said.
He also urged Prime Minister Putin to intervene in the Sakahlin-3 project as the Russian Gazprom natural gas monopoly had decided to not involve foreign partners in the development of huge deposits.
In the nuclear energy cooperation field, Sharma described Russia as 'a truly strategic partner' that is already building two nuclear reactors in Tamil Nadu's Kudankulam and is likely to build six more, including two at a new site in Haripur (West Bengal).
Sharma, who arrived in Russia for a three-day visit on Thursday night, yesterday attended the plenary session of the 14th St Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIF).
On the sidelines of the SPIF in St Petersburg, he reviewed the progress in six priority areas during his "very fruitful" meetings with Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Sobyanin and Industry & Trade Minister Viktor Khristenko.
Sharma will leave Moscow for Madrid tomorrow for co-chairing the India-Spain joint commission.