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Similarly, Russia has reiterated its support for India’s candidature for a seat on the United Nations security council. On the issue of Iraq and unilateralism, there was once again a clear convergence between the two leaders. Both voiced their opposition to the unilateral use or threat of use of force in violation of the UN charter and agreed to work for establishing a world-order based on the sovereign equality of all states, their territorial integrity and non-interference in their internal affairs. The two countries have also agreed to coordinate positions on key global issues by issuing the detailed and ambitious declaration on global challenges and threats to world security and stability. On more specific issues, cooperation over defence and space are clearly the building blocks of the bilateral strategic partnership. A memorandum of understanding was signed between the Indian Space Research Organization and the Russian aviation and space agency, Rosaviakosmos, that provides for a Russian input in ISRO’s moon-mission programme. India and Russia would also collaborate to develop missile boosters and space probes. There is reason for Mr Vajpayee to feel particularly satisfied with the visit.

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