Russian President Vladimir Putin, who arrived in an official visit to India, will have talks with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Pranab Kumar Mukherjee, and will meet with executives of largest corporations on Thursday.
Ahead of his Indian visit, the Russian president said key subjects of talks in New Delhi would be expanding trade, cooperation in the military technical sphere, in the energy sector, including nuclear energy, and in the area of high technologies. Putin stressed that India was Russia’s traditional partner and noted the Indian leaders’ commitment to look for new promising areas of cooperation with Russia.
The programme of Putin’s visit to India will begin with talks with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the narrow and extended formats, which will be crowned by a ceremony of signing documents and a joint statement for the press, Russian president’s aide Yuri Ushakov told journalists. The leaders will later meeting with representatives of Russian and Indian business circles. Apart from that, Putin and Modi will speak at the opening ceremony of the World Diamond Conference.
The itinerary of Putin’s visit includes talks with President Mukherjee and the chairperson of the Indian National Congress party, Sonia Gandhi.
This is Putin’s first visit to India after Narendra Modi’s inauguration as Prime Minister, which took place in May, but the two leaders have met in the BRICS /Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa/ format at international conferences in July and November 2014. The previous time Putin visited India was in December 2012. He went there in line with the years-long tradition of annual exchanges of visits with Indian leaders.
The talks will focus on promotion of “a particularly privileged strategic partnership.” “That’s how these relations are characterized,” Yuri Ushakov said, adding that the sides would issue a joint statement that would reflect their mutual willingness to build up cooperation and to coordinate efforts in the international arena on the pressing global and regional problems.
More than twenty documents have been prepared for signing this time and the most vital of them will be signed in the presence of the two leaders. These documents include an Agreement between the Russian and Indian Defence Ministries on the Safety of Flights, the Strategic Visioning of Cooperation in the Peaceful Utilization of Atomic Energy, and the Programme of Expanded Cooperation in the Oil and Gas Industry.
“Particular attention will be paid to trade, since both countries are worried by a tendency towards the shrinking of the trade volume,” he said. “It shrank by ten percent to ten billion U.S. dollars last year and, unfortunately, its shrinkage totaled a further seven percent this year on the background of some depressing global macroeconomic processes.”
Other issues to be discussed are cooperation in the nuclear sector and on the Sukhoi Superjet and GLONASS projects. Apart from that, the sides may raise the subject of India’s Eurasian integration. “The sides have reached an agreement on setting up a workgroup to probe into the possibility of an agreement on free trade between the Eurasian Customs Union and India,” Ushakov said.
Traditionally, the side will discuss cooperation in the defence sector. “That’s an important element of our bilateral strategic partnership,” Ushakov said. “India is a reliable and time-tested partner.”
Much attention is to be focused on the international agenda, including Russia-India cooperation within the United Nations Security Council, the Group of Twenty and BRICS. The leaders of the two countries will also discuss the situation in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, and Ukraine.