INTRODUCTION: Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko's party signed three agreements and issued a joint communique at the end of their three day visit to India on Wednesday (27 April).
LV ZOOM IN INTERIOR Mr. Gromyko (left) and Mr. Vajpayee signing agreement (2 shots)
SV Vajpayee and Gromyko stand up, exchange agreements and shake hands
SV Reporters and officials
SV Soviet Minister of Foreign Trade (left) and Indian Commerce Secretary Mr. Alexander sign agreement and shake hands (3 shots)
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: The new Indian Prime Minister Mr. Morarji Desai said shortly after taking over last month that if the Indo-Soviet treaty were to get in the way of friendship with other countries it would have to be changed. But the joint communique issued at the end of Mr. Gromyko's visit made it clear that both countries were going to try strengthen their already close relationship.
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Background: INTRODUCTION: Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko's party signed three agreements and issued a joint communique at the end of their three day visit to India on Wednesday (27 April).
SYNOPSIS: There was speculation that the new Janata government's policy of strict non-alignment might change the close Indo-Soviet ties that existed under Mrs. Gandhi's Congress Party government which was defeated in last month's elections. But the agreements signed by Mr. Gromyko -- on the left -- and Indian External Affairs Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, dispelled such thoughts. One agreement gave India 150 million sterling credit from the Soviet Union, mainly for obtaining technology for the coal and steel industries. The other raised the level of annual trade between the two countries from 750 million rupees (50 million sterling) to 900 million rupees (60 million sterling).
The Soviet Union's Deputy Foreign Trade Minister Vladimir Grishin and India's Commerce Secretary Mr. Alexander signed a third agreement. It covers a 12 channel all weather communication link between Srinigar in Kashmir and Tashkent in Soviet Central Asia. The Soviet Union has also agreed to supply one million tonnes of crude oil to India. The joint communique issued said both sides were satisfied with the outcome of the meetings and determined to strengthen cooperation in the spirit of the 1971 Indo-Soviet treaty of peace and friendship.