Russia Remains Our Top Defence Partner, Says PM Narendra Modi After Meeting President Putin: 10 Updates

Russia Remains Our Top Defence Partner, Says PM Narendra Modi After Meeting President Putin: 10 Updates

PM Narendra Modi and President Vladimir Putin at Delhi's Hyderabad House

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday held summit talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is on a 22-hour visit, and said though India's options had increased, Russia would remain its top defence partner. As PM Modi and President Putin pushed hard to revive jaded ties, the two countries signed an agreement titled "Druzhba-Dosti", or "friendship" in Russian and Hindi.

  1. Russia has committed to building at least 10 nuclear reactors in India under an agreement aimed at boosting nuclear energy cooperation. The number could go up to 20, President Putin said.

  2. The two leaders signed 20 agreements that also include a deal for Russia to manufacture in India one of its most advanced helicopters and a proposal to set up factories to make Russian spare parts for military equipment. (Read Full Text of the Joint Statement here)

  3. "Putin is the leader of a great nation with whom we have a friendship that is unmatched.  The importance of this relationship and its unique place in India's foreign policy will grow," said PM Modi.

  4. This is Mr Putin's first summit with Prime Minister Modi at a time when Russia is at odds with the West over Ukraine, and its economy is stalling as oil prices tumble to their lowest point in five years.

  5. The two leaders had met on the sidelines of the BRICS summit in Brazil in July and during the G-20 summit in Australia last month.

  6. Bilateral trade, at $10 billion, is now one-ninth of that between Russia and China. Moscow also recently sealed a military cooperation pact with Pakistan after lifting its embargo on arms supplies to that country and is in talks to supply Islamabad with combat helicopters.

  7. The Russian president is seeking new markets for his country's natural resources as its economy reels under US and EU sanctions over its backing of an uprising in Ukraine and annexation of Crimea.

  8. Sergei Aksyonov, the leader of Crimea arrived as part of President Putin's delegation, saying he sought investors to help develop the peninsula annexed by Russia.

  9. Since coming to power PM Modi has sought closer ties with US President Barack Obama, who has accepted an invitation to join India's Republic Day celebrations in January. But India has opposed joining the Western sanctions against Russia.

  10. As President Putin arrived in Delhi yesterday, PM Modi tweeted in Russian, "Times have changed, our friendship has not. Now we want to take this relation to the next level and this visit is a step in that direction."