Friday, 19 October, 2018

Arms deal expected as Putin visits India

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks at the Russian Energy Week International Forum in Moscow on Wednesday Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks at the Russian Energy Week International Forum in Moscow on Wednesday
Charlie Simmons | 07 October, 2018, 00:45

The Kremlin said before the two-day visit by Putin and top ministers that the "key feature" would be the signing of a $5-billion deal for the S-400 air defence system, despite the risk of USA sanctions against countries buying Russian defence kit. Later, Modi hosted a private dinner for the visiting dignitary.

Putin arrived here on Thursday evening for the 19th India-Russia Bilateral Summit and held a private meeting with Modi at the latter's residence at 7, Lok Kalyan Marg.

The law is created to punish Putin for the 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine, involvement in the Syrian civil war and meddling in the 2016 USA presidential election.

When the United States enacted a series of sanctions in retaliation for Russia's alleged interference in American elections, the goal was to punish an adversary, not to penalize friends.

Vladivostok Forum also known as the Eastern Economic Forum was set up for the goal of encouraging foreign investment in the Russian Far East.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi attend a presentation of a joint statement after their delegation level talks at Hyderabad House in New Delhi, India, October 5, 2018.

Top of the list in their discussions was a deal worth over $5 billion to supply India Russia's S-400 air defense system as part of a $100-billion military upgrade by the world's top arms importer.

The agreements to be signed are likely to boost cooperation in keys sectors such as defence, space, trade, energy and tourism, among others.

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India's decision to negotiate with Moscow flies in the face of the United States imposing sanctions on countries buying Russian military hardware, as happened with China last month.

But Andrey Slepnev, Director of Russia Export Center, struck a positive not and dismissed U.S. actions as "illegal" and reaffirmed the need for continuity in bilateral cooperation between India and Russia.

"Also, the fact is that unlike the US, Russian regional interests largely overlap with India's regional policy". In focus was the deal with Russia and India made out its case for the purchase of the Russian made S-400 missile systems.

"India and Russian Federation welcomed the conclusion of the contract for the supply of the S-400 long range surface-to-air missile system to India".

Deliveries of the S-400 will begin in 24 months, at the end of 2020, a government source told The Hindu.

But Russia still remains India's biggest military equipment supplier, accounting for 62 percentof India's total weapons imports during the past five years, according to the Stockholm Peace Research Institute.

But India is also known for its independent foreign policy and Russian Federation remains its main arms supplier.

"Russia has stood by India through time and has played a crucial role in India's growth story", he said.

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