( RIA Novosti ) - Russia and India have reaffirmed plans to draft a comprehensive cooperation treaty to boost trade, as well as ties in a range of other areas, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Zhukov said on Friday.
" Russia's economics ministry and India's commerce and industry ministry have come out with an initiative to set up a working group to draft a comprehensive treaty on economic cooperation," Zhukov said.
The two countries have sought to increase mutual trade to $10 billion by 2010 expanding cooperation from the traditional military sector to other spheres, including industry, energy and investment.
Speaking after a session of the bilateral inter-government commission on cooperation, Zhukov said Russia and India would discuss the possibility of Indian companies' participation in energy projects in east Siberia and other Russian regions.
India was earlier invited to participate in eight projects in Russia, including oil and gas projects in east Siberia and the Far East. New Delhi also invited Russia's Gazprom to contribute to integrated petrochemicals, LNG and power projects in India.
The two countries also examined possibilities for cooperation in Qatar, Myanmar ( Burma), Libya, Vietnam, Cuba and former Soviet republics. Gazprom and India's ONGC extended earlier this year their memorandum on cooperation in the creation of facilities to process oil and gas, and organize energy product deliveries to markets in India and other parts of the Asia-Pacific Rim.
He also said Moscow and New Delhi were considering investing part of India's rupee debt to Russia, equivalent to $1 billion, in building a multi-purpose transport aircraft.
The countries earlier agreed to invest part of the sum, representing one-third of India's $3 billion debt to Russia, in a joint venture to produce titanium dioxide widely used in military-oriented products.
The countries earlier agreed to invest part of this sum in a joint venture to produce titanium dioxide, widely used in military-oriented products.
India's foreign minister, Pranab Mukherjee, who co-chairs the commission, echoed the plans saying "the rupee debt will be used in two projects - on titanium dioxide production and possibly the construction of a multipurpose transport aircraft."
On Wednesday, Moscow and New Delhi signed a $1.6 billion contract for 40 Russian Su-30 Flanker fighter assembly sets to be supplied to India before 2010, Russian business daily Vedomosti reported on Friday, citing a government source.