Several major agreements are expected to be inked during the annual bilateral summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday as the two countries look to deepen their strategic cooperation and India seeks to diversify its weapons and energy supplies and production
Several major agreements are expected to be inked during the annual bilateral summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday as the two countries look to deepen their strategic cooperation and India seeks to diversify its weapons and energy supplies and production. Putin, who will be in India for only a few hours and leave the same evening, and Modi will hold the 21st India-Russia annual summit, which will be preceded by the defence and foreign ministers of both countries holding the inaugural 2+2 dialogue the same morning.
Agreements are likely in the sectors of trade, energy, culture, defence, tech, and space, officials stated.
This will be the first face-to-face meeting between Prime Minister Modi and Russian President Putin since they last met on the sidelines of the BRICS Summit in Brasilia in November 2019. The inaugural 2+2 will see Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar meet with their Russian counterparts, Defence Minister Sergey Shoigu and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
“We attach a lot of importance to the summit and we are confident that Russia is also looking at the visit in a similar manner because of our traditionally strong, and good strategic cooperation,” unnamed official sources were quoted as telling Indian media.
Both sides have met the USD 30 billion investment target, with $15 billion from each side. The two sides have revised the investment target to $50 billion by 2025. Russian investments are mainly in the fields of steel and rubber.
Besides looking at energy, which is a major component of the relationship, India is also focusing on the Russian Far East, with more intense inter-regional cooperation between Indian states and the Russian Far East. The Russian Far East is in need of manpower supply, an area that India is looking to tap. There are already Indians working in the Far East. For the Vibrant Gujarat Summit next month, all the 11 governors of the Russian Far East have been extended special invitations.
The annual summit talks come as India has begun receiving the S-400 missile systems from Russia, to which the US has protested. “We maintain strategic autonomy in our defence procurement,” Indian officials said.
Both sides are intensively engaged on Afghanistan, which saw both Modi and Putin discuss the issue in August where they decided to hold talks at the level of their security chiefs. Russian security chief Nikolai Patrushev came to India for the talks in September. Patrushev was in India again for the NSA-level talks on Afghanistan convened by India last month.
Meanwhile, the Indian government has approved plans for the production of over 500,000 AK-203 assault rifles with Russia at Korwa, Amethi in Uttar Pradesh, UNI news agency said. The announcement was timed with Putin's visit. The 7.62 X 39mm caliber AK-203 Rifles will replace in-service INSAS Rifle in use with the Indian armed forces for over three decades.
"It reflects the ever-increasing paradigm shift in defence acquisition from buy (global) to Make in India. This endeavour will be done in partnership with Russia and reflects the deepening partnership between the two countries in defence sector," Indian officials were quoted as saying.
The project will be implemented by a special purpose Joint Venture called Indo-Russian Rifles Private Ltd (IRRPL) and Rosoboronexport (RoE) and concern Kalashnikov of Russia.(SAM)