Modi to visit Russian Federation on May 21 for informal summit

Doug Mendoza
May 16, 2018

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold an "informal summit" with Russian President Vladimr Putin in the Black Sea resort of Sochi on May 21 during which he would discuss further strengthening the Privileged Strategic Partnership between the two countries and exchange views on regional and global developments.

The informal summit in Sochi between Prime Minister Modi and President Putin is in keeping with the tradition of regular consultations between India and Russian Federation at the highest levels.

Both the leaders will also exchange their views on their "respective national developmental priorities and bilateral matters".

The Modi-Putin summit is surprising in another respect - Modi will be meeting Putin at the SCO summit in Qingdao in early June, and Putin is expected to visit India for the annual India-Russia summit also in the next few months. It would be Modi's second informal summit in as many months as he held talks with Chinese President Xi Jingpin in China's Wuhan in a similar format last month. Observers have termed the move significant to boost investments in India.

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Informal summits are clearly the flavour of the season. "Instead, the focus" will be on discussions on the "big picture" globally, according to observers.

Raghavan felt that the ongoing developments around the world required both countries to "affirm a mutual commitment" beyond the confines of a formal summit. The Pakistan military is planning to purchase Sukhoi-35 fighter jets and T-90 tanks from Russian Federation, nearly marking an end to Moscow's close and historical relationship with India.

This message had to be conveyed against a backdrop of deteriorating US-Russia relations which has ignited a budding Russia-China alliance.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron discussed the situation after the United States withdrawal from the Iranian nuclear deal, the Kremlin said Tuesday. With Russia still being a major defence supplier, a recent USA law could impose sanctions on India if it goes ahead with significant purchases from Russia, for example the S-400 Triumf air defense system. But the fact that India has not had a single bigticket defence buy from Russian Federation in the past four years is a problem with Moscow.

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