Putin, Modi vow to step up economic, energy cooperation

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MOSCOW, May 21 (Xinhua) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin and visiting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi decided to step up economic and energy cooperation on Monday during the talks in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, the Foreign Ministry said.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told media following "long, frank, friendly" Putin-Modi talks that the two leaders paid particular attention to the economic cooperation, said the Foreign Ministry.

The leaders also paid special attention to the program of action to combat extremism, separatism and terrorism, he said.

According to the minister, Russia-India trade increased about 20 percent in 2017 and grew some 40 percent in the "first months" of 2018.

Putin and Modi also discussed cooperation in the energy sector, including oil, liquefied natural gas and peaceful use of nuclear energy, said Lavrov.

Russian President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with visiting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Sochi, Russia, May 21, 2018. (Kremlin Photo)

The two leaders discussed the details about what steps should be taken to ensure the solid economic component of a summit to be held in India in early October this year, Lavrov said.

"There was a discussion about various areas of our specific cooperation at the regional and global level," Lavrov said, adding that Russia and India had confirmed they will strongly oppose attempts to politicize the work of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

The OPCW is responsible for an investigation into alleged chemical weapon attacks in Syria.