New Delhi, Feb 26 (IANS) The five BRICS countries -- Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa -- will soon form a parliamentary forum to foster closer cooperation among themselves, Valentina Matvienko, chairperson of the Russian parliament's upper house, said Tuesday.
"Our colleagues from Brazil had proposed creating a parliamentary dimension of the BRICS format. It has been agreed and it will soon be signed," Matvienko, chairperson of the Federation Council, Russian parliament's upper house, told mediapersons here.
Matvienko, who is in India on an official visit, also said the parliamentary side of the India-Russia relations have been lagging.
"The last meeting between the chairs of the houses of the two countries was 14 years ago. Inter-parliamnetary relations have been lagging behind the presidential and government-level relations. My visit here is to activate this relationship," she added.
As the upper houses of both indian and Russian parliaments are represented by states and regions, Matvienko said she had, during a meeting with Vice President and Rajya Sabha chairman Hamid Ansari, proposed the creation of a special format of regional cooperation between the regions and states of the two countries.
To a question on the role of middlemen in arms deals, Matvienko discounted such a possibility between Russia and India.
"All this cooperation ( military-technical between India and Russia) is based on inter-governmental cooperation and performed directly through government structures. No mediators can be present," Matvienko said.
--Indo-Asian News service