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India, Russia looking to sign 15-20 pacts during Vladimir Putin's visit

New Delhi: Russian President Vladimir Putin will arrive here for the annual Summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on December 11 during which they will spell out their vision for cooperation in key areas including
india russia looking to sign 15 20 pacts during...
PTI December 05, 2014 23:13 IST

New Delhi: Russian President Vladimir Putin will arrive here for the annual Summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on December 11 during which they will spell out their vision for cooperation in key areas including defence and nuclear as two sides are looking at inking 15-20 pacts during the nearly 20-hour-long visit.

The visit is expected to impart new dynamism to "special and privileged" Indo-Russia ties and the two sides will be taking stock of the current state of relations apart from discussing ways to significantly enhance bilateral trade from the current US $10 billion during the 15th Summit meeting.

Putin will hold detailed talks with Modi both in restricted and delegation level formats. He will also call on President Pranab Mukherjee who will hold a banquet for him. Sources said specific discussions are likely to take place on various key projects including the envisaged gas pipeline linking Russia with India and the ambitious Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) programme. Further cooperation in the nuclear energy area is also likely to figure prominently during the talks.

"President Putin's visit is a landmark event and is expected to provide fresh impetus to the existing bilateral relations between the two countries. The dominant theme of this summit will be the spelling out by the two leaders a joint vision of our relationship for the next decade," Ajay Bisaria, Joint Secretary (EURASIA) said.

He said the vision document will provide a road map to enhance partnership between two countries to a "qualitatively new level" in key areas of nuclear energy, hydrocarbons, trade and defence. Putin, who will be accompanied by a high-level delegation of officials and corporate leaders from Russia, and Modi are expected to jointly interact with CEOs of major companies from both the countries as well. It will be the first annual summit meeting between Putin and Modi. The two leaders have met twice during the year.

They met on the sidelines of the BRIC summit in Brazil in July during which Modi had mentioned to him that every child in India knows that Russia was India's "closest friend" They met for the second time during the G-20 summit in Australia last month.  Talking about Western sanctions against Russia, Bisaria said "India cannot be party to any economic sanctions" against the country.

India's exports, particularly food items, to Russia have gone up since sanctions were imposed against it by Western countries for its interventions in the crisis in neighbouring Ukraine. On signing of military cooperation pact between Pakistan and Russia and recent visit of Russian Defence Minister to the country, official sources said it has been noted but refused to comment further.

They said issues relating to setting up of the units 3 and 4 of the Kudankulam nuclear plant will figure in the talks between the two sides. "We will have detailed review of nuclear cooperation." Asked about reports on Putin addressing parliament, they said it was "unlikely". They said there had been various proposals on the table and at one stage the Prime Minister had invited Putin to visit outside Delhi which did not work out.

On furthering space cooperation, the sources said a range of discussions in the area including with Russian private sector are going on. About the joint production of the fifth generation fighter, the sources said the first stage of the design has been completed and it has moved to the next stage.

Asked whether there was any proposal to make Mumbai a global diamond trading hub, the sources said there would be discussion in this regard. Russia is the largest producer of rough diamonds in the world and India is the largest consumer.

There will be discussion on increasing export of rough diamonds from Russia, they said On enhancing trade, the sources said talks are on to have a free trade area pact with the "integrated Eurasian space" besides working on a transport corridor through Iran which will bring down the time of transportation significantly. They said extensive discussions will be held on energy cooperation.


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