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 today, will sign an agreement on cooperation between the Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Interior of the Russian Federation in combating terrorism and organised crime. The pact will reinforce the bilateral relationship 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, this visit will provide an opportunity to further cement and strengthen the mutually beneficial bilateral ties between the two countries, the official said. Before leaving for Russia, the home minister said India and Russia share a special relationship which has withstood the test of time over the decades. “This year India and Russia are celebrating the 70th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations with each other. Looking forward to deepen and further India’s strategic and security partnership with Russia,” he tweeted.
The home minister was scheduled to visit Russia on September 18, 2016, but he had cancelled it following a terror attack on that day at the Brigade headquarters in Uri in Jammu and Kashmir, in which 19 Army soldiers were killed. All four terrorists, who attacked the defence installation, were also killed by the security forces.