India, Russia to hold annual summit in Delhi next month. Putin to attend

Is Russia trying to emerge from under the thumb of China? Putin to attend India-Russia annual summit meeting in Delhi

Is Russia trying to emerge from under the thumb of China? Putin to attend India-Russia annual summit meeting in Delhi
Is Russia trying to emerge from under the thumb of China? Putin to attend India-Russia annual summit meeting in Delhi

Russian Prez Putin expected to visit India next month for annual summit

Russian President Vladimir Putin is visiting India next month for a bilateral summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi that is expected to produce key outcomes to further boost ties in a plethora of areas including Defence and security. Both sides have been holding talks to firm up the visit around the second week of December, said diplomats. Russia is expected to start the delivery of the first batch of S-400 missile systems to India by the middle of next month.

Though it got 800 million dollars from India, Russia had delayed the start of supply more than a year and it must be remembered that Russia had already supplied S-400 to China in 2016 and China had already installed these missiles pointing at India by end of 2020. It is a well-known fact the Russian missile is having Chinese software.

Ahead of the summit, India and Russia may also hold the inaugural two-plus-two foreign and Defence ministerial dialogue in Moscow that is set to add new momentum to the overall ‘special and privileged strategic partnership between the two countries. The two sides are going to firm up a number of agreements in the areas of Defence, Trade and Investment, and Science and Technology at the summit. A framework for military-technical cooperation is set to be renewed for the next one at the summit besides announcing a joint commission on technology and science.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov visited India in April that was learned to be aimed at preparing the ground for the annual India-Russia summit. The summit was postponed last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Both the countries have a mechanism under which India’s Prime Minister and the Russian President hold a summit meeting annually to review the entire gamut of ties. So far 20 annual summit meetings have taken place alternatively in India and Russia.

The two sides are likely to review the regional security scenario including the developments in Afghanistan at the summit. Secretary of the Security Council of Russia Nikolai Patrushev visited India in September as part of a follow-up to the telephonic conversation between Modi and Putin on the developments in Afghanistan. Patrushev again visited India this week to attend the Delhi Regional Security Dialogue on Afghanistan. Apart from Russia and India, the dialogue was attended by top security officials of Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.

On the S-400 deal, the people cited above said both sides are committed to it. In October 2018, India had signed a USD 5 billion deal with Russia to buy five units of the S-400 Air Defence Missile Systems, despite a warning from the Trump administration that going ahead with the contract may invite US sanctions. India made the first tranche of payment of around USD 800 million to Russia for the missile systems in 2019. The S-400 is known as Russia’s most advanced long-range surface-to-air missile defence system.

Following US sanctions on Turkey, there have been apprehensions that Washington may impose similar punitive measures on India. The supply of S-400 missiles to India by Russia is expected to begin later this year.

PGurus earlier reported that Russia had already delayed more than a year on the start of the supply of S-400 missiles after receiving the first advance of 800 million dollars.[1]

References:

[1] S-400 deal – Did Russia ditch India by delaying start of supply to end-2021? China has already placed S-400 missiles system in Tibet aimed at Ladakh Dec 22, 2020, PGurus.com

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