Modi, Putin meet ahead of BRICS Summit, likely to sign defence deals
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin have begun their annual talks that are expected to conclude with new defence deals and the smoothing over of recent irritants in their decades-long close relationship.8thBricsSummit Updated: Oct 15, 2016 14:01 IST
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin began a closed-door bilateral meeting on Saturday ahead of the BRICS Summit in Goa, in which a clutch of big-ticket defence deals will be signed.
Putin arrived in Goa after a nine-hour delay for the 17th annual India-Russia summit, in which Modi will likely raise concerns over Russia-Pakistan’s military ties among other matters.
External affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said Modi and Putin “will discuss a range of issues including defence, counter-terrorism”.
The leaders will later participate in the foundation-laying ceremony of the third and fourth power units at the Kundakulam nuclear power plant via video conference.
Several defence deals are expected to be inked, including a pact for delivery of anti-missile defence system – S-400 Triumpf, a new version of the BrahMos missile. The S-400 can shoot down around 36 targets simultaneously over several hundred kilometres. Russia’s most modern air defence system is in use in Syria.
The two sides are also looking at a work-share agreement for the fifth generation fighter jets and a deal to jointly produce Ka-226T helicopters.
Sources said talks on a framework agreement for two more reactors in Kudankulam and their funding were in an advanced stage.
Putin earlier arrived at the Dabolim airport to a red carpet welcome after which Modi greeted the Russian President on Twitter saying: “India welcomes you, President Putin! Wishing you a fruitful visit.”
Top bureaucrats from the Russian defence, energy, trade and industries ministries are accompanying the President.
The two leaders are expected to hold discussions over lunch and issue a formal statement to the media following the summit.
(With inputs from agencies)