India, Russia defence deals to dominate Modi-Putin meet next month

8 September 2016

India and Russia are likely to sign a defence deal worth millions of dollars during the summit level meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin that is scheduled to take place in October in Goa.

Russia, which has been India’s traditional defence partner, is believed to be chalking out an aggressive defence plan even as it is worried over the growing defence relationship between India and US. American defence exports to India have grown to a staggering $13 billion.

The defence deals that are expected to be signed includes purchase of S-400 air defense missile system, a IL-78 multi-role tanker transport by India and the joint upgrading of the SU30MKI and Kamov 28.

Both sides are also expected to sign an agreement on the fifth generation fighter aircraft (FGFA) project or the Perspective Multirole Fighter (PMF). The talks for the project were revived earlier this year. It took a back seat when India opted for the French Rafale fighter jets.

On September 13, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin will be visiting India to hold the intergovernmental committee on technical and economic cooperation. This will also pave the way for the bilateral meeting between both leaders.

Modi and Putin will be holding their bilateral meeting on October 15 in Goa on the sidelines of the BRICS Summit. The last summit meeting was held in December 2015 in Moscow.

“During the Summit a number of agreements are expected to be signed between India and Russia for greater economic cooperation, especially in the energy sector,” a top official told BusinessLine requesting anonymity.

India and Russia are also expected to discuss the expansion of the civil nuclear cooperation between them. On August 10, Modi and Putin inaugurated, through video conference, the Kudankulam Unit 1, which is a 1,000 MWt power plant.

India is keen on attracting Russian investments. Both are also likely to discuss the possibility of commencing talks for a Free Trade Agreement between India and the Eurasian Economic Union (Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan).


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