On October 4th and 5th Prime Minister Modi and President Vladimir Putin met for the fifth time since last year's annual summit meeting in Russia during Putin’s two-day India visit.

The visit gains importance in terms of the issues that are likely to come up for discussions between the two sides, most important of which is the signing of the S-400 missile system that India plans to purchase from Russia. The sharpening of tensions between Russia and the United States, and the US’ unilateral actions, such as Countering America's Adversaries through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), is likely to impact India which shares long-standing diplomatic relations with both Russia and the US.

India and Russia signed 8 key pacts after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and visiting Russian president Vladimir Putin held wide-ranging talks during the summit. In a joint statement issued after the talks at Hyderabad house, PM Modi said that today’s talks with President Putin have given a new direction to Indo-Russia strategic partnership. He exuded confidence that the special strategic partnership between India and Russia will achieve new heights. The Prime Minister informed that Russia has “committed full support to India’s first manned space mission Gaganyaan”. India has set the 2022 deadline for country’s first human space flight.

From India’s point of view, Russia remains an important strategic partner for a number of different reasons. The historical character of the two-sided relationship aside, there are several strategic factors that interrupt the Russia-India dynamic. For one, Russia remains the only partner that is still willing to give India access to critical technologies, such as a nuclear submarine. Moreover, the emerging Russia-China strategic relationship has important security consequences for India. Even as India is diversifying its defence trade partners, Russia still dominates the Indian defence inventory to the tune of about 70 percent. S-400 is known as Russia's most advanced long-range surface-to-air missile defence system. China was the first foreign buyer to seal a government-to-government deal with Russia in 2014 to procure the lethal missile system and Moscow has already started delivery of an undisclosed number of the S-400 missile systems to Beijing. The deal for five Russian S-400 Triumf missile systems has been signed between India and Russia.

India and Russia signed a deal for space cooperation under which an Indian monitoring station will be built near the Russian city of Novosibirsk in Siberia. Russian President Putin said that he told Prime Minister Narendra Modi that Moscow will step up cooperation with New Delhi in combating the menace of terrorism and drug trafficking. Later during the meet Business leaders from the two countries interacted with PM Modi and Vladimir Putin on the side-lines of Indo-Russia business summit. Russia pitches for Indian energy companies to invest in its country. Putin says he and Modi have discussed in detail Kudankulam nuclear power plant in Tamil Nadu--the fourth and fifth units of the plant are being constructed. He adds that according to India's agreement with Russia, 12 units will be built in the next 20 years.

Speaking over Indo-Russia bilateral trade ties, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that Russia can become our partner in the new and renewable energy sector. He said that the world has changed but the relationship between India and Russia has remained the same and the trade between the two countries has risen to 20 percent in 2017-18. In a joint statement issued with Russian President Vladimir Putin, PM Modi said

“India gives priority to its relations with Russia. Russia has always been a part of India's growth story,”

While delivering a joint statement, Russian President Vladimir Putin invited PM Modi to Russia.

“It is my great pleasure to once again invite Prime Minister to participate in the next Vladivostok Forum as the main guest,”

Written by:

Sanat Singh