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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Russia, India to Sign Strategic Friendship Pact

NEW DELHI, India -- India and Russia will sign a "strategic friendship" agreement next year to reflect their close ties since the 1971 treaty signed during the Cold War, according to a joint declaration issued Tuesday.

It will be signed during President Boris Yeltsin's planned visit to India next year, Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov said Monday. Yeltsin was scheduled to visit New Delhi in December, but his trip was postponed as his health deteriorated. No new dates have been set for Yeltsin's visit.

"This political document of paramount importance will set new parameters and guide further development of the close partnership between India and Russia," said a joint declaration at the end of a two-day visit by Primakov.

Primakov flew from India to Kazakhstan for talks on how to prevent his country's economic crisis causing more harm to the Central Asian state.

Primakov, who made no comment to reporters on arrival, was due to meet Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev and Prime Minister Nurlan Balgimbayev during his brief official visit to the capital, Astana, where economic, trade and defense issues were likely to dominate.

His spokesman said after his arrival in Astana that Primakov would leave Kazakhstan slightly earlier than initially planned on Wednesday, but would complete his program. He gave no reason for the change.

Nazarbayev will enjoy playing host to a key political figure less than three weeks before a presidential election that he is expected to win, and is expected to work hard to maintain good relations with Moscow.