Russia is keen to play its part in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India’ campaign as two countries seek new dynamism into their ties.
Despite all the romanticism of the past and epithets like Russia being a time-tested friend, efforts to reshape the relationship between a buyer and seller in military sphere haven’t actually taken off.
But officials on both sides say the visit of Putin on December 11-12 might change that.
With economic agenda driving Modi government’s foreign policy priorities, the annual summit could bring out a new blueprint. If indications are anything to go by, preparations are in course for Russia taking part in the ‘Make in India’ campaign in a big way.
Russians have agreed to make “civil and light aircraft in India,” which has already been welcomed by commerce and industry minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
If Russia — India’s biggest defence partner — makes a shift to making defence product in India, it will give a big boost to the campaign.
Another area that Russia is keen on is infrastructure.
Sistema, a Russian company, has also expressed its interest in partnering for a building a smart city, details of which are expected to be announced during Putin’s visit to India. Space cooperation, which has remained a vital area of mutual aid, is set to grow further. “Fields such as high-end computing, launching telecommunication satellites on low cost platforms and projects are areas where two countries can work together,” the official said.
The overall environment is also ideal for fostering business ties. After a lull, India is keen on the north-south corridor, increasing the linkages with Eurasian customs union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan.
“There can be a genuine revival of trade and business ties between India and Russia,” sources said.
Oil and gas, agro-processing, logistics are some other areas where greater cooperation in envisaged.