New Delhi: Ahead of Vladimir Putin’s two-day visit to India, a top Kremlin aide on Tuesday asserted that the Russian President will oversee the signing of a USD 5 billion deal this week to supply Delhi with S-400 air missile systems.
“The president is leaving for India on October 4. The key feature of this visit will be the signing of the agreement to deliver S-400 air defence systems. The value of the contract will be more than USD 5 billion,”news agency AFP quoted Putin’s top foreign policy aide Yury Ushakov as saying.
Putin will be on a two-day visit to India beginning October 4 to hold the annual India-Russia summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, with a focus on further boosting bilateral ties and deliberate on a range regional and global issues including US sanctions on import of Iranian crude oil. The announcement of the Russian leader’s visit was announced by the Ministry of External Affairs.
Notably, Russia has been one of India’s key suppliers of arms and ammunition. It has been negotiating to sell the S-400 long-range surface-to-air missiles to India for months. Earlier in September, the United States had warned the countries against the deal, saying it would be considered as a “significant transaction” and has a potential for imposing tough US sanctions.
The S-400, which has been in service since 2007 is considered as Russia’s most advanced long-range surface-to-air missile defence system. India is looking to procure Russia’s long-range missile systems in a bid to strengthen its air defence mechanism, particularly near its borders. In 2016, India and Russia had inked an agreement on the S-400 deal that can destroy any incoming hostile aircraft, drones and missiles at a range up to 400 km, as per several media reports.
(With inputs from agencies)