Russian President Putin arrives in India, to sign 20 agreements

Putin Modi

New Delhi, Oct 4 : Russian President Vladimir Putin arrives in New Delhi on Thursday on a two-day visit during which major defence deals including procurement of S-400 missile system will be signed.

Russia and India plan to sign more than 20 documents at the end of the talks that Putin is going to have with Modi during his visit.

President Putin and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will discuss the issue of security challenges in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region and the threat of terrorism that emanates from Pakistan.

On the agenda for the annual summit will be trade and eco cooperation, international regional forums, cultural and people to people contact, counter-terrorism, Iran, energy security, Syria, AfPak, security concerns emanating from Pakistan, science and technology, civil nuke cooperation: discussion on site for next nuclear power plant and space.

 President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Narendra Modi were expected to sign a joint statement on October 5.

Russia is one of only two countries with which India holds annual bilateral summits, the other being Japan.

The India-Russia bilateral relationship was elevated to Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership in 2010.

Earlier this month, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj visited Moscow for the 23rd India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on Technical and Economic Cooperation (IRIGC-TEC) meeting which also prepared the groundwork for Putin’s upcoming visit.

During that meeting, India and Russia decided to increase the target of two-way investments to $50 billion by 2025 since the earlier target of $30 billion has already been crossed.

Speculation is also rife about whether a missile deal that New Delhi has been negotiating with Moscow will be finalised during Putin’s visit.

With US President Donald Trump’s administration’s law — Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) — coming into effect in January, India’s defence deals with other countries have come under the scanner.

The Union Cabinet on Wednesday cleared two proposed agreements on bilateral cooperation with Russia to be signed during Russian President Vladimir Putin’s upcoming visit to India.

The memoranda of understanding (MoUs) between the two countries would seek cooperation in the fields of road transport and the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) sectors.

The government said that both countries would benefit by mutual cooperation in the two fields.

It said the MoU on road transport sector would lead to increased co-operation, exchange and collaboration with Russia and contribute towards establishing a long-term and effective bilateral relationship of communication and cooperation in the sector.

“This will also help in planning and administration of road infrastructure and road network management, transport policy, technologies and standards for the construction and operation of highways in the country and will further go a long way in strengthening ties and bilateral relations between India and Russia,” an official statement said.

A separate government statement added that the MoU on MSMEs would provide a structured framework and enabling environment to the sector of the two countries to understand each other’s strengths, markets, technologies and policies.

“It aims to enhance enterprise to enterprise cooperation and help initiate sustainable business alliances in terms of technology transfers, joint ventures and business partnerships in MSME sector.

 

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