After S-400 missile deal,India and Russia ink pact on manned space mission

After S-400 missile deal,India and Russia ink pact on manned space mission

Courtesy : Agencies08/10/2018 08:54

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin Friday held the India-Russia annual summit after which eight pacts, including on cooperation on India's ambitious human space mission project -- Gaganyaan -- were signed.

Official sources said the two countries also signed the USD 5 billion S-400 air defence system deal after talks between the two leaders in Hyderabad House.

Talks with President Putin have given new direction to the bilateral strategic partnership, Modi said in a press statement after the 19th India-Russia annual summit.

Pacts were also inked in the fields of space, nuclear energy and railways.

A crucial MoU was signed between Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) and the Federal Space Agency of Russia ROSCOSMOS' on joint activities in the field of human spaceflight programme Gaganyaan.

 India and Russia are committed to cooperating in the fight against terrorism, Modi said.

President Putin said the two countries have agreed to step up cooperation in combating the menace of terrorism and drug trafficking.

 India and Russia signed the crucial US$ 5 billion deal for five S-400 Triumf air missile defence systems on the final day of the 19th annual bilateral summit of the two countries here, said reports. The deal formed a part of the host of bilateral, regional and global issues which Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed at Hyderabad House. ANI reported that another deal for space cooperation has been signed. An Indian monitoring station will be built near the Russian city of Novosibirsk in Siberia.

Issuing a statement after the meeting, PM Modi said the two countries signed some key MoUs in the fields of railways, defence and space. The two countries are all for strengthening multi-polarity and multi-lateralism, he said. “India gives priority to its relations with Russia. Russia has always been a part of India’s growth story,” PM Modi said. “Our countries have mutual benefits in supporting the struggle against terrorism, Afghanistan and Indo-Pacific events, climate change; organisations like SCO, BRICS, G20 and ASEAN. We have agreed to continue cooperation to these international organisations.”

President Putin spoke at length about the areas the two leaders focused on. He said the two countries would work on combating international terrorism and human trafficking. “It is my great pleasure to once again invite Prime Minister to participate in the next Vladivostok Forum as the main guest,” he said. He added, “I have informed the PM about the situation in Syria. We have also discussed the situation that came as a result of action of US to withdraw from Iran deal.”

The signing of S-400 deal would likely have an impact on the Indo-US relations. More so, as the US had warned that it would be a “focus area” for it to implement punitive sanctions against a nation undertaking “significant” business deals with the Russians.

The purchase violates sanctions under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) instituted by the US Congress on arms purchases from Russia. A US State Department spokesperson was quoted as saying, “We urge all of our allies and partners to forgo transactions with Russia that would trigger sanctions under CAATSA.”

S-400 is known as Russia’s most advanced long-range surface-to-air missile defence system. China was the first foreign buyer to seal a government-to-government deal with Russia in 2014 to procure the lethal missile system and Moscow has already started delivery of an undisclosed number of the S-400 missile systems to Beijing. The S-400 is an upgraded version of the S-300 systems. The missile system, manufactured by Almaz-Antey, has been in service in Russia since 2007.

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