PM Modi, Putin discuss ways to bolster bilateral ties
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday discussed ways to take forward bilateral cooperation in several key areas, including defence, supply of fertilisers and India’s role in developing Russia’s Far East.
The two leaders had a telephone conversation to follow up on their discussions during Putin’s visit to India earlier this month for the annual bilateral summit.
At the summit on December 6, India and Russia agreed to enhance cooperation and coordination on bilateral and multilateral issues, including trade and investment and the situation in Afghanistan. The two sides also signed nearly 30 agreements, including one for the programme for defence cooperation during 2021-31, and concluded a deal for India’s procurement of more than 600,000 AK-203 assault rifles.
“Spoke with my friend, President Putin, to follow up on our discussions during his recent visit to India. We agreed on the way forward for enhancing India-Russia cooperation, including in the supply of fertilizers. We also discussed recent international developments,” Modi said in a tweet.
An Indian government statement said the two leaders followed up on some of the issues discussed during Putin’s visit. “The exchange today helped firm up the future course of action on these issues, including opportunities for furthering defence cooperation, cooperation in the supply of fertilizers [and] enhancement of India’s engagement with the Russian Far East,” it said.
“The conversation also allowed an exchange of views on international issues,” the statement said, adding that the leaders agreed to deepen bilateral cooperation and consultation and coordination at multilateral forums.
A readout from the Russian side said the two leaders discussed “practical aspects of implementing the agreements reached at the talks” on December 6 and “expressed mutual intent for the further multifaceted development of relations of the special and privileged strategic partnership between Russia and India”.
They also exchanged “views on issues of international stability and security, including the situation in the Asia-Pacific region”, the readout said.
Putin thanked Modi for the hospitality extended to the Russian delegation during the visit to New Delhi. The two leaders congratulated each other on the upcoming New Year holidays and “agreed to intensify bilateral contacts in various spheres”, the readout added.
India and Russia had also held their first 2+2 dialogue of defence and foreign ministers on the same day as the bilateral summit. Russia continues to be a key supplier of sophisticated defence hardware to India, and the first regiment of S-400 air defence systems ordered by New Delhi began arriving in the country at around the time of the summit.