St. Petersburg, June 2: In a key measure of diplomatic signalling, India and Russia have decided to take their bilateral ties to the next level. Apart from signing important military pacts, the countries have also put forth plans to develop an independent credit rating agency to counter the geo-economic bias towards countries like USA and China.

The main aim of such a credit rating industry would be to ensure that it is “independent from political conjecture”. The move comes in the wake of a growing sense of discomfort in India, with the refusal of existing agencies such as Moody’s to upgrade India’s sovereign credit rating despite strong figures of economic growth and political stability.

Currently, most of the credit rating agencies are headquartered in the United States and are strongly influenced by the country’s political relations. These include popular agencies such as  S&P, Moody’s and Fitch. In a joint statement issued on Wednesday, Prime Minister Modi and President Putin the two countries agreed to harmonise respective laws in the two countries regarding credit ratings.

Another key point of the engagement was the finalisation of the agreement for the development of the Kudankulam 5 and 6 reactor units in Tamil Nadu.  The agreement had been left hanging for quite some time between the two countries.

India and Russia will also hold ‘Indra-2017’, the first joint tri-Services exercise this year.  Joint manufacturing of frigates is also set to commence soon. The joint agreement read, “We will strive to build an ‘energy bridge’ between our states and expand bilateral relations in all areas of energy cooperation, including nuclear, hydrocarbon, hydel and renewable energy sources and in improving energy efficiency.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is in St. Petersburg to attend the 18th Annual India-Russia Summit. Commenting on the engagement, Modi said that the St. Petersburg Declaration was a benchmark of stability in a turbulent, interdependent and interconnected world, adding new vigour to India-Russia relations. The two countries are celebrating the 70th year of the establishment of their bilateral relations this year.