India and Russia sealed a number of big ticket defence deals on Saturday, including a purchase of missile systems, frigates and joint production of helicopters besides deciding to deepen cooperation in a range of crucial sectors
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin held wide-ranging talks covering the entire expanse of bilateral engagement, following which the two sides signed a total of 16 MoUs and made three announcements to boost ties in sectors such as trade and investment, hydrocarbons, space and smart cities.
The two leaders also dedicated the unit two of Kudankulum nuclear power plant and witnessed the foundation laying of its Unit three and four.
The defence deals included India buying the ‘gamechanger’ S-400 Triumf air defence systems from Russia at a cost of more than USD 5 billion. The two countries will also collaborate in making four state-of -the-art frigates besides setting up a joint production facility for making Kamov helicopters.
Reading out a statement to the media in the presence of Putin, Modi appreciated Russia’s understanding and support of India’s actions to fight cross-border terrorism, an oblique reference to India’s surgical strike across the LoC .
“Russia’s clear stand on the need to combat terrorism mirrors our own. We deeply appreciate Russia’s understanding and support of our actions to fight cross-border terrorism, that threatens our entire region.”
“We both affirmed the need for zero tolerance in dealing with terrorists and their supporters,” Modi said.
Putin, on his part, said both countries have close cooperation in fighting terrorism.
Modi said the “highly productive” outcomes of the meeting clearly establish the special and privileged nature of strategic partnership between the two countries.
“They also lay the foundations for deeper defence and economic ties in years ahead,” he said.
The two sides signed an agreement to purchase ‘Triumf’ long-range air defence missile system which can destroy incoming hostile aircraft, missiles and even drones at ranges of up to 400 km. The prime minister also announced a joint study for a gas pipeline route between the two countries.
“A combination of robust civil nuclear cooperation, LNG sourcing, partnership in the oil and gas sector, and engagement in renewables can construct a promising ‘energy bridge’ between our two countries,” he said.
Talking about India’s expanding presence in Russia’s hydrocarbon sector, Modi said in last four months alone, Indian companies have invested close to USD 5.5 billion in that country’s oil and gas sector.
The two countries also agreed to set up a Science and Technology Commission.
On the trade front, Modi said both countries would continue to expand, diversify and deepen economic engagement. Efforts were on for early setting up of the Investment Fund of USD 1 billion between National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) and Russia Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), a fund that will help advance infrastructure partnership.
“...We hope to fast track India’s association with Eurasian Economic Union Free Trade Agreement,” the Prime Minister said.
For more on the BRICS summit, click here .