Vladimir Putin to visit India for summit with PM Modi on October 5
Russian President Vladimir Putin is to arrive in New Delhi for the 19th Indo-Russian summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 5. The two leaders last met in Sochi, Russia for an informal summit on May 21 this year.
The India-Russia summits are the highest level of official exchange between the two countries and are held alternately in the two countries. The last summit was held in St Petersburg in 2017.
Ever since President Putin attended the inaugural summit in New Delhi in October 2000 with Prime Minister Vajpayee, strategic ties between the two countries have been elevated to a 'Special and Privileged Strategic Relationship'. In recent months, they been tested by India's perceived proximity towards the United States and US sanctions on Russian arms firms that affect India's arms buys from Moscow. Russia is India's largest arms supplier and a Rs 40,000 crore deal to buy S-400 air defence missiles is under negotiation and could possibly be signed during the summit.
Several other defence deals are in the pipeline including those an inter-governmental agreement for the licensed-production of the AK-103 assault rifle in a government factory, a joint venture between Rostec, Russian Helicopters and HAL for the production of the Ka-226 light utility helicopters in Karnataka, four Talwar class frigates and two IL-78 transport planes to be used as AEW&C early warning aircraft.
Another significant projects include cooperation in the proposed International North-South Transport corridor which shortens the transit time for cargo between Mumbai and Europe by routing goods through Iran, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia. On August 15 this year, Prime Minister Modi announced the Gaganyaan programme, which will launch an Indian astronaut into space by 2022. ISRO officials say the astronauts will most likely be trained in Russia's Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre in Star City outside Moscow.