PM Modi, Putin Hold Bilateral Talks: – Bilateral talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin have started in New Delhi. Both leaders are expected to announce the signing of key defense deals, including the purchase of the S-400 Triumf missile system. The US has hinted at tough sanctions against any nation that buys advanced military hardware from Russia. India has indicated it would go ahead with the deal to acquire the S-400 long-range missile system, despite the US warning. Russia has been an important supplier of defense hardware to India for decades.
Here’s your point-wise cheat-sheet to this big story:
- The Russian president is accompanied by a high-level delegation comprising Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, and Trade and Industry Minister Denis Manturov.
- The S-400 is one of the world’s most advanced long-range air defense systems. China was the first nation to buy the S-400 missile system in 2014. Russia has already started deliveries of an undisclosed number of the S-400 missile system to Beijing.
- There have been indications by New Delhi that it will go ahead with the S-400 deal notwithstanding the US sanctions. “As and when the government approves it, delivery (of the missiles) will be in 24 months,” Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa has told reporters.
- Under a new law — Countering America’s Adversaries through Sanctions Act or CAATSA — the US imposes sanctions on any country that has “significant transactions” with Iran, North Korea or Russia.
- Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will also discuss key regional and global issues, including US sanctions on the import of Iranian crude oil. Mr. Putin will also meet President Ram Nath Kovind today.
- Putin’s aide Yuri Ushakov was quoted by the Russian media as saying that Russia and India are planning to sign over 20 documents at the end of the bilateral meet, including the S-400 missile deal.
- India is also planning to acquire 4 Krivak-class frigates from Russia, two of which will be built in India. Under the $2.5 billion deal, two ships will be built at the Goa shipyard and two others will be acquired from Russia. India already operates six similar frigates.
- This is the third meeting between PM Modi and Mr. Putin this year after the informal meeting in the Russian resort city of Sochi in May and a bilateral on the sidelines of the BRICS Summit in South Africa.