New Delhi and Moscow sign more security and trade deals as India approaches the US – Russia’s enemy.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met with Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss security and trade agreements as India seeks to stabilize relations with the United States.
The agenda for the annual meeting on Monday included political and security issues, according to the Indian Foreign Ministry.
A meeting between Modi and Putin in New Delhi comes just hours after the two foreign and foreign ministers discussed talks to strengthen ties between India and Russia.
The two countries have also signed a series of treaties to protect the two countries, including India’s purchase of more than 600,000 guns from Russia.
India’s Ministry of Homeland Security has called it a “special thing” that could replace local-made firearms and sophisticated weapons, ending a “long search” for its wars.
India’s foreign secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said India and Russia signed 28 agreements on Monday, including agreements on steel, shipbuilding, coal and energy.
India is starting to receive S-400
India has also begun receiving S-400 weapons from Russia this month, Shringla said, adding that things will continue to go well.
Speaking at the conference, Modi said the agreements reached would be “beneficial to various sectors”.
“Under the ‘Make in India’ program, our development and co-operation projects are strengthening our security alliance. Our alliance is progressing in the nuclear and nuclear sectors,” Modi said.
The two countries have also signed an agreement to extend their military expertise over the next ten years.
Speaking at Modi’s headquarters, Putin said: “Fellow citizens, foreign ministers and security forces are here; this is the first meeting of its kind.
“We see India as a very strong, friendly country that has been tested for a long time,” Putin said.
India and Russia have a long history of connections and have already set a target of $ 30bn in mid-term trade by the end of 2025.
But recently, India has approached the United States, which it sees as important in its fight against China.
Putin has to deal with regional tensions, escalating tensions between New Delhi and Beijing, traditionally linked to Moscow, following a months-long conflict on their border east of Ladakh. About 20 Indian soldiers were killed in a border strike with China last year. China said it had lost four soldiers.
Nandan Unnikrishnan from the New Delhi-based Observer Research Foundation told AFP that Putin’s visit was “extremely symbolic”.
“There have been many speculations about the state of India-Russia relations and whether they are deteriorating due to Russia’s proximity to China and India and the US, but this trip has ended all of that,” Unnikrishnan said.
But Tatiana Belousova of OP Jindal Global University in Haryana said Russia’s influence in the region was “very low.”
“Often because of the close ties with China and the unwillingness to act contrary to the interests of the Chinese region.”
Russia, meanwhile, has expressed skepticism about the establishment of Quad, a coalition involving US, India, Japan and Australia formed in response to China’s boldness in the Indo-Pacific region.
India’s foreign secretary said concerns over the Indo-Pacific route were raised by Russia.
Putin and Modi also discussed the situation in Afghanistan, and demonstrated their commitment to ensuring that the country does not become a safe haven from “terrorism”.