Putin to meet Modi in Delhi to deepen strategic ties

New Delhi: Hectic negotiations are underway to put finishing touches on a wide-ranging strategic defense agenda between India and Russia ahead of the 21st annual summit between India and Russia on 6 December after Russian President Vladimir Putin lands here.

Russia is looking to assert its long-standing special strategic partnership with India amidst a growing strategic congruence across the spectrum between India and the USA. New Delhi has inked defense deals worth $21 billion with Washington since 2007.

Arindam Bagchi, the spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs, informed that the annual summit between President Putin and PM Modi was last held in 2019.

The summit comes after a one-year gap that has seen many developments, from the onset of Covid-19 to the inauguration of a new administration in the US to the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan. On the same day, India and Russia will also hold their first-ever 2+2 format talks on the sidelines of the summit. These talks will be held between the two countries’ foreign and defense ministers.

PM Modi will also participate virtually in US President Joe Biden’s inaugural ‘Summit for Democracy’ next week on December 9-10.

Ahead of the summit, India has already cleared the long-pending project worth Rs 5,124 crore to manufacture over six lakh AK-203 Kalashnikov rifles in Amethi in Uttar Pradesh while a $1.5 billion deal for very-short range air defense missile system (VSHORADS) from Russia is also reportedly in the final stages of approval.

Meanwhile, the Russian Foreign Ministry stated that the summit will “discuss further development of relations of the special and privileged strategic partnership between the two countries. The leaders will exchange views on topical issues on the international agenda, including joint work within the G20, BRICS, and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.”

Image courtesy of (Photo courtesy DNA India)

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