Putin may visit India in first half of 2021, says Russian envoy

ANI
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Russian President Vladimir Putin
Russian President Vladimir Putin

Moscow [Russia], December 21 (ANI): Russian President Vladimir Putin, who was earlier scheduled to visit India in late 2020, may visit the country during the first six months of the next year, said Russia's ambassador to India, Nikolay Kudashev, on Monday.

"It became more difficult to maintain contacts due to the pandemic. It has affected the frequency of face-to-face meetings, but the Russian-Indian political and economic dialogue has not become less intense. Summits are the highest point of the dialogue. The summit was due to be held in October. There have been large-scale preparations, but it has been decided by mutual agreement to postpone the meeting until the next year. When will the meeting take place? The sooner the better. I hope we will receive the Russian president in India in the first half of the coming year," Sputnik quoted Kudashev as saying.

Kudashev further said that the bilateral commission for military cooperation between the two nations could be convened during early 2021.

According to Sputnik, the Russian envoy also informed that a free trade deal may be signed next year between India and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), which comprises of countries like Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia.

"If we talk about which documents and agreements were decisive for the trade and economic agenda and which agreements and documents need to be formalized next year, then I would probably mention the following -- well, first of all, there is an interesting agreement on formalizing a deal on a free trade zone between India and the EAEU ... Several rounds of technical negotiations took place," said the ambassador.

Kudashev also said that Moscow and New Delhi may sign several bilateral agreements in 2021 that includes a deal on protecting and promoting investment, while adding that the two countries also plan to update the current deal on avoiding double taxation. (ANI)