PM Modi is confident his talks with Mr Putin will strengthen partnership between the two nations.
New Delhi: Days after Prime Minister Modi met Chinese President Xi Jinping in Wuhan for an informal summit, he reached Russia today for a similar "no-agenda" meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Amid increasing global challenges and the Trump administration's unsettling rules of governance, discussions around foreign policies and enhanced coordination among nations are gaining prominence. The one-day summit, being held in Sochi, is at the invitation of President Putin. Before boarding the flight, PM Modi expressed hope that his talks with Mr Putin will strengthen the "special and privileged" strategic partnership between the two nations.
Here are 10 points on PM Modi's second informal meet in a month:
- The summit is likely to be held at the private 'dacha' or villa of Mr Putin in Sochi. Hidden on a mountain side and unmarked on maps, Mr Putin's massive residence is supposed to have cost nearly $1 billion. It is said that the Russian president loves Sochi and he recently hosted German Chancellor Angela Merkel here.
- Mr Putin will host a lunch for PM Modi, but there will be no "guard of honour". Also, no other minister is accompanying the prime minister and no documents or joint statements are expected. A large part of the informal meeting would be one-to-one, but there might be some room for restricted delegation-level discussions, sources said.
- Sources said that the no-frills visit would be "flexible" and there would be no formalities in terms of "protocol". "PM Modi believes that informal talks are a useful mechanism for direct conversation, away from the formalities of a structured summit and protocol. Informal chats on a regular basis are important in the changing international scenario," sources told NDTV.
- The two leaders will discuss both global as well as regional issues and the meeting is expected to last four to six hours. Deliberations on bilateral issues, however, are likely to be limited.
- The US's withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal and its economic impact on India and Russia; the situation in Afghanistan and Syria; threat of terrorism; and the upcoming Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) and BRICS summits will be among the issues that could dominate the talks.
- The possible impact of the US sanctions on Russia under the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) on Indo-Russia defence cooperation might also figure during the discussion.
- The tricky issues involving defence deals would not be brought up, sources said, even as reports have emerged that India trying to acquire 200 Kamov Ka 226T helicopters from Russia was on the agenda.
- The patch up between North and South Korea over nuclear weapons is also going to be on the table. Talks related to nuclear power plants are also likely to be part of the summit. PM Modi is expected to reassert India's avowed position of complete denuclearisation of these weapons of mass destruction from the world.
- Indo-Russian atomic energy cooperation could also be reviewed at the highest level. Reports suggest that India has invested nearly $5 billion in the Russian energy sector. Bilateral civil nuclear co-operation could be very high on the agenda.
- China reducing the tension along the border was important, but with Russia, a trusted all-weather partner, increasing trade ties and stepping up defence and atomic energy cooperation could be priority.
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