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Russia’s Putin hosts Indian PM for talks

Modi said on Twitter that conversation focused on India-Russia ties, calling it “fruitful” and also publishing pictures of the pair exchanging gifts.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin in Moscow. A senior PMO official said that the two leaders will discuss various issues, including the supply of attack helicopters to Pakistan, during their meeting on Thursday evening.

Third, we are moving forward on the India-Eurasian Economic Union Free Trade Agreement.

Jaishankar said Modi’s talks in Moscow will also include nuclear cooperation.

Putin said India and Russian Federation were already successfully producing supersonic, ship-based Brahmos missiles which would be soon delivered to the Indian navy.

“The visit will witness extensive deliberations with President Putin”.

The two sides welcomed the signing of an agreement between Rosneft and ONGC Videsh Limited (OVL) for acquiring 15 percent stakes by OVL in Rosneft’s Vankorneft oil fields and discussions for further stakes in future.

Russian Federation has built a nuclear reactor at the Kudankulam nuclear power plant in India and is now completing a second unit there.

Modi is seeking to ramp up the country’s nuclear energy use to meet the rising energy needs, with a programme for at least 12 new reactors, as well as reduce its heavy dependency on coal, the worst greenhouse gas producing fuel. It supports my mission of Make in India.

Among the other agreements signed on Thursday are on railways, solar energy, heavy engineering, hydrocarbons. I remember we made important decisions then. These would boost defence manufacturing in India and India’s defence readiness with next generation equipment. These are matters of grave national sensitivities and we believe particularly that when the Prime Minister overseas represents the whole nation, these sensitivities must always be respected, party spokesperson and former Law Minister Ashwani Kumar said at the Congress briefing.

Hailing Putin, Modi said in a changing world, his leadership has kept the bilateral relations on a steady course of progress and growth.

He added, “My visit will deepen the cooperation between India and Russian Federation in the economic, energy and security spheres”. Even the extremely modest target of $30 billion bilateral trade by 2025, set by Modi and Putin past year and up from the $9 billion at present, appears optimistic.

A combination of ignorance, impediments to business travel, connectivity challenges and inadequate interest by the private sector in both countries continues to hobble the economic component of a relationship Modi and Putin have both described as vital. However, the PMO is yet to reveal the Russian president’s reaction when Modi raised the issue.

Energy cooperation, investment and trade will be also on the agenda during the talks.

Modi is in Moscow for a two-day visit.

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