Putin in India today, Pak terror, defence deal on agenda

Putin in India today, Pak terror, defence deal on agenda

Courtesy : Agencies05/10/2018 08:15

Russian President Vladimir Putin will be in Delhi today on a two-day visit, during which India and Russia are likely to sign a deal worth 5 billion dollar to procure S-400 air defence systems and deliberate on key regional and global issues.

Amid multi-billion dollar deals to be signed between India and Russia, including the signing of S-400, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will discuss the issue of security challenges in the AfPak (Afghanistan-Pakistan) region and the threat that emanates from Pakistan.

The Modi administration has been engaged with Russia regarding the defence cooperation between Moscow and Islamabad and why is there a need to have such cooperation.

A senior official told The Nationalist,"The advantage of the annual summit is to put to rest such doubts."

There is a Joint Working Group on counter-terrorism between India and Russia where both sides discuss a common strategy to counter threats emanating from terrorism, extremism and radicalism. Cyber security is also a part of the conversation.

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.

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.

Russian presidential aide Yuri Ushakov said that President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Narendra Modi were expected to sign a joint statement on October 5.

The two sides are also likely to sign the deal on M17 helicopters.

The two leaders will discuss sensitive issues in the restricted format of the meeting such as defence cooperation. Russia has had concerns regarding the New Delhi's growing proximity to the United States of America.

External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj was in Moscow, where these issues did come up. Sources say that the EAM said India has always been "responsible, big country, trying to carry others along, but not specifically directed against any one country."

Both sides had also discussed Iran in great detail. Foreign Minister Lavrov explained Russian position on JCPOA and that Russia has asked the government of Iran to stay in the deal, want Iranian oil exports to continue to the international community.

EAM said we are in touch with all parties to ensure our economic growth is not affected, said sources.

India has shown that despite CAATSA by the Trump administration, she is willing to go ahead with Russia because of the Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership the two forged in 2010.

Sources in the government said, "Non-alignment was to be equidistant from all countries, but current govt view is to be close to several countries but align on some issues based on national interest."

India is taking a bold step to show the commitment to the relationship, now Russia has allay fears in some quarters that they are getting too close to Pakistan. 

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