Russian President Vladimir Putin and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met on Monday in New Delhi to solidify over two dozen trade and arms deals between their respective countries, including a pledge to boost annual bilateral trade to $30 billion by 2025.
President Putin arrived in India on December 6 along with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu, and Igor Sechin, the CEO of Russia’s state-owned Rosneft oil company. After Lavrov and Shoigu met with their Indian counterparts on Monday, Prime Minister Modi received President Putin at Hyderabad House — an Indian government building used to host foreign dignitaries — in New Delhi, India’s national capital. The two heads of state held extensive talks to mark the 21st annual India-Russia summit.
“We perceive India as a great power, a friendly nation, and a time-tested friend,” President Putin told Prime Minister Modi at Hyderabad House during their meeting.
“We also cooperate well in the military and technical sphere like no other country,” he added.
“Despite the challenges posed by [Chinese coronavirus], there is no change in the pace of growth of India-Russia relations,” Prime Minister Modi told Putin on Monday. “Our special and privileged strategic partnership continues to become stronger.”
The pair concluded their bilateral talks by approving 28 investment pacts between New Delhi and Moscow related to “trade, energy, science and technology, education and intellectual property,” CNBC reported.
Indian Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla told reporters on December 6 Russian and India inked deals on “steel, shipbuilding, coal, and energy.”
“The diversity of agreements and [memorandum of understandings] signed today shows the multi-faceted nature of our bilateral partnership,” he affirmed.
“India and Russia have also signed a program of cooperation in the field of defense for the next ten years, 2021 to 2031,” Singh added.
The military pacts signed during Monday’s bilateral summit include an agreement by India to provide Russia with over “600,000 Kalashnikov assault rifles,” Reuters reported. Russia in turn expressed interest “in continuing to provide S-400 air defense missile systems [to India].”
India’s foreign secretary revealed Monday that “a 2018 contract for the S-400 missile systems was currently being implemented,” according to the news agency.
“Supplies have begun this month, and will continue to happen,” Singh said of the missile systems.
“The [S-400] deal with Moscow puts India at risk of sanctions from the United States under a 2017 U.S. law aimed at deterring countries from buying Russian military hardware,” Reuters observed on December 6.
New Delhi and Moscow set a joint goal on Monday of establishing $50 billion in investment between the two parties by 2025. In accordance with this target, Rosneft announced on December 6 it signed a contract with the state-owned Indian Oil Corporation to supply “up to 2 mln [million] tons of oil to India via the port of Novorossiysk by the end of 2022.”