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India, Russia looking to sign 15-20 pacts during Putin's visit

A file photo.

NEW DELHI (PTI): Russian President Vladimir Putin will arrive here for the annual Summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on December 11 during which they will spell out their vision for cooperation in key areas including defence and nuclear as two sides are looking at inking 15-20 pacts during the nearly 20-hour-long visit.

The visit is expected to impart new dynamism to "special and privileged" Indo-Russia ties and the two sides will be taking stock of the current state of relations apart from discussing ways to significantly enhance bilateral trade from the current USD 10 billion during the 15th Summit meeting.

Putin will hold detailed talks with Modi both in restricted and delegation level formats. He will also call on President Pranab Mukherjee who will hold a banquet for him.

Sources said specific discussions are likely to take place on various key projects including the envisaged gas pipeline linking Russia with India and the ambitious Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) programme.

Further cooperation in the nuclear energy area is also likely to figure prominently during the talks.

"President Putin's visit is a landmark event and is expected to provide fresh impetus to the existing bilateral relations between the two countries. The dominant theme of this summit will be the spelling out by the two leaders a joint vision of our relationship for the next decade," Ajay Bisaria, Joint Secretary (EURASIA) said.

He said the vision document will provide a road map to enhance partnership between two countries to a "qualitatively new level" in key areas of nuclear energy, hydrocarbons, trade and defence.

Putin, who will be accompanied by a high-level delegation of officials and corporate leaders from Russia, and Modi are expected to jointly interact with CEOs of major companies from both the countries as well.

It will be the first annual summit meeting between Putin and Modi. The two leaders have met twice during the year.

They met on the sidelines of the BRIC summit in Brazil in July during which Modi had mentioned to him that every child in India knows that Russia was India's "closest friend"

They met for the second time during the G-20 summit in Australia last month.

Russia's ambassador to India, Alexander Kadakin, Friday hinted that pacts to boost defence cooperation between the two countries would be signed during the trip.

"There has never been a Summit without any defence agreement. These will be important agreements in the field of our military exchanges," he said when asked whether there will be agreements on defence cooperation during Putin's visit.

Putin will be here for the annual Summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on December 11.

"There was some kind of a lull in our bilateral exchanges, but now our relations have entered the stage of strategic and privileged partnership," the Russian envoy said on the sidelines of a book release event here.

Responding to Modi's 'Make in India' pitch, Kadakin said that Russia has been doing so for "many many decades now".

"Our joint efforts will correspond completely with the 'Make in India' appeal that (Modi) has made. But that has been our way for long. We produced Sukhois and other military equipment, including BRAHMOS (missile). Russia has been following this directive for many, many decades now," he said.

The book, 'Indian Poem', was released in the presence of Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR) President Lokesh Chandra and eminent art scholar Kapila Vatsyayan.

It contains a collection of paintings by eminent 19th century Russian artist, Vasily Vereshchagin.

Meanwhile, at a dialogue to discuss Indo-Russia ties, senior member of the Russian Parliament, Vyacheslav Nikonov, remarked that the BJP-led government is interested in promoting "fruitful relations" between the two countries.

"I met your National Security Advisor Ajit Doval this morning and I am sure the new government in India is also interested in promoting fruitful relations," he said.

Stating that the time is ripe for Russia to make "bold moves", Nikonov said that the support for the Putin government is higher than ever before.

"For Russia, any relationship is welcome at this point.

The country is up for bold moves and strong initiatives as the support for the government is higher than ever before. Those who slapped sanctions on the country misunderstood the mood of the Russian society," he said.

The two-day dialogue, that was organised by New Delhi-based Observer Research Foundation in collaboration with the Russkiy Mir Foundation, was attended by a number of Indian and Russian strategic experts.


India  Russia  Defence  Putin  Modi  

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