Soviet-Indian Friendship – Pravda Editorial (1982)
Friendship Will Get Stronger
The Soviet Union consistently develops many-sided cooperation with Asian, African and Latin America countries. This cooperation helps strengthen their political independence and national economies and eliminate the heavy burden of the colonial past.
“The Soviet Union”, said Leonid Brezhnev at a meeting in Baku dedicated to the presentation of the Order of Lenin to Soviet Azerbaijan, “is all for enhancing the role played in international affairs by states that freed themselves from the colonial or semicolonial yoke and took the road of independence and progress. We are convinced that the policy of those countries can have a beneficial effect on the situation in the world.”
The steadily growing and strengthening Soviet-Indian relations are a vivid example of fruitful cooperation between the Soviet Union and developing nations. A fresh confirmation of this was provided by the recent visit to the Soviet Union of Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. As a result of the talks held in Moscow, a joint Soviet- Indian declaration was signed. The participants in the talks reaffirmed that the relations between the Soviet Union and India rest on the firm foundation of the Treaty of Peace, Friendship and Cooperation, meet the essential interests of the two nations and exert a beneficial influence on the development of the international situation. “The whole gamut of cooperation between India and the Soviet Union gives satisfaction”, said Indira Gandhi in her speech at a meeting with members of the Soviet public in Moscow. “It has benefited millions and harmed none.”
The Soviet-Indian talks in Moscow were held in an atmosphere of mutual understanding, warmth and cordiality, the sides noted the high level and large-scale nature of the Soviet-Indian cooperation in economy, trade, science and technology, which proceeds on a planned basis, and has a mutually-advantageous and long-term nature. They agreed to discuss possibilities for a further exapansion of cooperation in such fields as ferrous and non-ferrous metallurgy, coal-mining and oil-extraction industries, and reiterated their resolve to assure an increase in trade by 1986 by 1.5 to 2 times, as well as maintenance of high rates of trade growth for the period ending in 1990.
During the Soviet-Indian talks much attention was given to the international situation. The sides noted once again the coincidence or closeness of views on the key problems of the international situation, especially with respect to the preservation of peace and prevention of a new world war. The Soviet Union and India are convinced that an end to the arms race, above all nuclear, and the implementation without delay of effective measures towards a general and complete disarmament under the effective international control, as well as the prevention of a nuclear war, are the tasks of primary importance facing the world at present.
Both sides reaffirmed the great importance of joint efforts in the struggle for peace and security on different continents. They believe that the unresolved international issues can and must be settled by peaceful means, through talks. This concerns a search for political solutions in South-West Asia, normalisation of the situation in South-East Asia, a peaceful settlement of the Iraq-lran armed conflict and the earliest implementation of the UN declaration on making the Indian Ocean a peace zone.
The Soviet Union and India resolutely condemned Israel’s criminal aggression against the Lebanese, Palestinian and other Arab peoples, which is being encouraged from outside and has again proven the need for the earliest, just and comprehensive settlement of the Mid- Eastern problem. The sides firmly believe that this can be attained only with the participation of all parties concerned, including the PLO, the sole, lawful representative of the Palestinian people.
In the present complex international situation there is an increasing role to the non-alignment movement of which India is one of the founders. The Soviet Union values highly India’s constructive role in this movement which is an important factor contributing to an improved international climate.
The Soviet Union and India reaffirmed the significance of international cooperation in maintaining and consolidating peace and stability in Asia and throughout the world on the basis of peaceful coexistence. A vivid example of the Soviet Union’s wise and realistic approach to solving disputed problems was its proposal that the leading bodies of NATO and the Warsaw Treaty make a statement on their refusal to extend the sphere of activity of these alliances to Asia, Africa and Latin America. These initiatives meet the fundamental interests of all peoples, world peace and security.
Leonid Brezhnev characterized the high degree of trust between the two countries and their leaders, as an invaluable asset. Joint Soviet- Indian efforts in the struggle for preserving peace, disarmament and detente and for broadening state-to-state cooperation are especially significant in view of the current international situation when, as never before, practical measures are needed to stop mankind’s sliding down to a nuclear catastrophe. In it lies one of the important results of the visit which has strengthened even further the trust between the Soviet and Indian leaders and bonds of close friendship between our peoples.
The successful completion of the visit of the Indian Prime Minister became a manifestation of friendship between the Soviet and Indian peoples. The Soviet Union will continue to pursue its Leninist foreign policy aiming at developing cooperation with the newly-freed countries, at strengthening the unity of world socialism and the national-liberation movement.
(September 28, 1982)
(Book: PRIME MINISTER INDIRA GANDHI VISITS USSR)