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Modi to meet Putin amid US sanctions against Russia

IANS  |  New Delhi 

will visit on May 21 for an informal summit with in the summer beach resort of amid US sanctions against that might impact Russian military supplies to India, particularly an estimated Rs 40,000-crore deal to buy the sophisticated, long-range S-400 air defence system..

Modi will be travelling to at Putin's invitation, the said on Friday.

The Prime Minister's previously unannounced visit comes after and visited last week to discuss a way out of the US sanctions on Russian firms.

The sanctions against Russian oligarchs and companies, including Rosoboronexport, the state-owned Russian weapons trading company, has raised concerns in about a possible impact on India's military buys from

has long-standing significant contracts and business ties with and other countries.

At the heart of the current India-military ties is a multi-billion dollar deal for five S-400 -- billed as a game changer by the for its ability to counter ballistic missiles and stealth aircraft like those is developing.

The two countries signed an agreement in principle for the S-400 deal in 2016.

The sanctions under the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act mandates similar action against those who conduct transactions with the banned Russian oligarchs and defence firms.

The sanctions aimed to punish Moscow for its meddling in Ukraine, Syria, the 2016 and, most recently, Russia's alleged involvement in the of a former intelligence

and strategic ties with Russia date back to the beginning of the Cold War even as led a movement of "non-aligned" countries that declared their tilt with neither nor Moscow. However, always leaned toward the USSR.

India still buys over 60 per cent of its from Russia. At present, the Indian armed forces are 70 per cent equipped with Soviet or Russian weapons.

Besides, the US decision to pull out of the nuclear deal and its ramifications on India-Russia have also caused new worries in

An release said Modi's visit to Russia will be an important occasion for him and to exchange views on international matters in a broad and long-term perspective in order to further strengthen the special and privileged strategic partnership.

"Both leaders will discuss their respective national developmental priorities and bilateral matters," the statement said.

It said the informal summit was in keeping with the tradition of regular consultations between India and Russia at the highest level.

The meeting comes in the wake of pulling out of the nuclear deal signed between and six world powers (Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the US).

is also expected to visit India later this year for the annual bilateral summit.

Russia and are the only two countries with which India holds annual bilateral summits.

Modi's visit to Russia also comes just after Putin won a fourth term in office in March this year after remaining in power for almost two decades. Modi and Putin last met in Russia last year.

Modi and Chinese held a similar informal summit in last month.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, May 14 2018. 20:24 IST