New Delhi: Russian President Vladimir Putin arrives in New Delhi on Thursday evening for the 19th annual bilateral summit. The two-day summit will conclude with the signing of key agreements, including the multi-billion-dollar S-400 ‘Triumf’ surface-to-air missile system. Reports say that India and Russia could be signing more than 20 documents, including mega defence and energy deals, at the end of the summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin on 5 October. While the signing of the deal for S-400 is a key feature, the visit will have implications for India’s relations with the US as well.
India is going ahead with the S-400 deal knowing very well that it might attract US sanctions. Indian officials have been engaging with the US to prepare them for the deal, say reports. Meanwhile, a report in The Times of India also mentioned how the two countries were also expected to announce a new space cooperation mechanism which was put into motion since PM Modi announced sending an Indian to the moon by 2022.
Reportedly, Russia has also offered to provide equipment and training for the mission, with a “Make in India” component. It has also offered to train an Indian cosmonaut to travel to its portion of the International Space Station as part of the preparation for the manned moon travel.
Another sector where India has increased its investment in Russia is energy. The first shipment of LPG from Russia arrived in Gujarat earlier this year. ONGC Videsh Ltd, sources said, is raising stakes in Russia’s far east. To make it easier for business, Russia has now introduced an e-visa for visitors to that region.
Meanwhile, the S-400 deal has strongly been endorsed by the IAF chief, Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa. Speaking about Rafale and S-400, he said they were like booster dose for the force.