Russian President Vladimir Putin will lead an official delegation, which includes Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, on an official visit to the Indian capital New Delhi on Monday, where he will hold the 21st Annual India-Russia Summit with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The summit, which will be held at Modi’s residence, is set to kick off at 5:30 p.m.
President Vladimir Putin will arrive in New Delhi at around 3 p.m. (Indian Standard Time), while ministers Lavrov and Shoigu reached the capital on Sunday night.
Monday morning began with Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh’s talks with his Russian counterpart Shoigu under the India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on Military-Technical Cooperation framework.
A second meeting will be held between Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov. Later, the foreign and defence ministers of the two countries will participate in the inaugural “2+2” dialogue at 11:30 a.m. and discuss critical bilateral, regional, and international issues, including the situation in the Asia-Pacific region.
President Putin said on Wednesday that he intends to discuss new “large-scale” initiatives with Prime Minister Modi on further developing Russian-Indian relations.
Nikolay Kudashev, the Russian ambassador to India, has stated that an extensive joint statement will be made after the meeting and will include practically all aspects of the countries’ international cooperation, as well as focus on respect for the central role of the United Nations, commitment to multiplicity, preservation of strategic stability, and joint contribution to meeting novel challenges.
In addition to the statement, agreements in transport, science, space, military and technical cooperation, culture, and education are also expected, the diplomat stated. The ambassador also emphasised that Putin’s visit signifies the return of face-to-face contacts, notwithstanding the threat of the new Omicron variant of the coronavirus.
Here are the key points of the bilateral meetings and agreements expected to be signed.
S-400 Model to be Handed Over
President Putin will hand over a model of the S-400 “Triumf” air missile defence system as a symbol of delivery of the systems to India, media reports suggest. The delivery of the first column under the $5.43 billion deal is to be completed by the end of this month.
On Friday, the Indian government said that it will not back down on its determination to receive Russia’s air missile defence system despite the looming threat of penalties under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), a domestic American law passed in 2017 and meant to discourage other nations from entering into military deals with Russia, Iran, and North Korea.
The US has repeatedly threatened India with sanctions under CAATSA, with the State Department saying last week that no decision had been made on any waivers for India.
Narendra Modi’s government cleared a $698 million agreement to manufacture Russian-designed AK-203 assault rifles in India on Wednesday. The two countries will sign the deal to produce 650,000 AK-203 assault rifles at an Indian facility in Uttar Pradesh during the summit. The AK-203 rifles will replace India’s domestically produced INSAS rifles.