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Modi, Putin take yacht ride, discuss BRICS, North-South Transport Corridor

Modi recalled his first visit to Russia with then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in 2001 and said Putin was the first world leader whom he met after becoming the chief minister of Gujarat

BS Web Team  |  New Delhi 

Modi meets Putin
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with the Russian President Vladimir Putin, at Sochi, Russia on Monday. Modi on Monday arrived in Russia's Black Sea coastal city Sochi for an informal summit with President Putin that will focus on pressing global and regional issues, including the impact of the US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal.

Prime Minister discussed bilateral and global issues in his first informal summit with Russian President on Monday.

said the strategic partnership between India and Russia has now been elevated into a "special privileged strategic partnership" as he met Russian President in this Black Sea coastal city for their first informal summit.

Modi recalled his first visit to Russia with then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in 2001 and said Putin was the first world leader whom he met after becoming the chief minister of Gujarat.

He said the seeds of the 'strategic partnership' sown by then Prime Minister Vajpayee and President Putin has now grown into a "special privileged strategic partnership" between the two countries.

Modi thanked Russia for playing a major role in helping India get a permanent membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation - an eight-nation bloc which aims at military and economic cooperation between the member states. India and Pakistan were admitted last year into the organisation.

"We are working together on International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) and BRICS," Modi said.

Welcoming Prime Minister Modi to Sochi, Putin said his visit would give a fresh impetus to bilateral ties.

After their first informal summit, and took a boat ride from Bocharev Creek to Olympic Park in

He said Russia and India have been cooperating on several fronts in the multilateral and the international fora.

He also mentioned military-to-military cooperation between the two countries.

This is Modi's second informal summit in as many months as he held talks with Chinese President Xi Jingpin in China's Wuhan in a similar format last month.

Here's are the top developments on Modi-Putin informal meet:

1. Modi meets Russian President Putin for
first informal summit: Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the strategic partnership between India and Russia has now been elevated into a "special privileged strategic partnership" as he met Russian President Vladimir Putin in this Black Sea coastal city for their first informal summit.

In his opening remarks, Prime Minister Modi said India and Russia have been friends for a long time and thanked President Putin for inviting him for the first-ever informal meeting at

Modi recalled his first visit to Russia with then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in 2001 and said Putin was the first world leader whom he met after becoming the chief minister of Gujarat.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi pose for a photo during their meeting in the Bocharov Ruchei residence in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russia, Monday, May 21, 2018.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi pose for a photo during their meeting in the Bocharov Ruchei residence in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russia, Monday, May 21, 2018.

2. India, Russia to discuss military cooperation: Russian President Putin and Prime Minister Modi paid special attention to the economic talks, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said.

"I am confident that the ongoing informal contacts between the leaders of Russia and India will be useful and will help define the further guidelines for our development and strategic partnership," Lavrov said.

"We discussed the whole spectrum of our particularly privileged strategic partnership, paid special attention to the economy, noted the steady growth of trade turnover," the minister said.

Ahead of their summit, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said President Putin will discuss Russia-India military cooperation with Prime Minister Modi, amidst US sanctions on Russia.

"It can be supposed that the military-technical cooperation issue will be discussed [at the meeting between Putin and Modi,]" Tass news agency quoted Peskov as saying.


3. CAATSA may figure during Modi-Putin talks: The two leaders may also discuss the possible impact of US sanctions against Russia, under the Countering America's Adversaries through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), on Indo-Russia defence cooperation.

The US had imposed sanctions on Russia earlier this year under CAATSA for its military intervention in Ukraine and alleged meddling in the 2016 US Presidential elections.

ALSO READ: Talks with Putin will strengthen India's strategic plan with Russia: Modi

4. Modi, Putin to focus on Iran, regional issues: During the informal meet, the two leaders will primarily focus on pressing global issues, including the impact of US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, according to news agencies.

Official sources told news agencies that the two leaders will meet for around four to six hours for the "agendaless" talks where deliberations on bilateral issues are likely to be very limited.

They said the issues on the table may include economic impact on India and Russia in the wake of the US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, the situation in Afghanistan and Syria, the threat of terrorism, and matters relating to the upcoming Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and BRICS summits.

ALSO READ: US asks allies to mull its 'sanctions act' before Russian military purchase

5. Other topics that are likely to be discussed between Modi and Putin: The two leaders may also deliberate on extending Indo-Russia civil nuclear cooperation in third countries, possible areas for cooperation for the International North South Transport Corridor (INSTC) project, India's engagement with the five-nation Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), and the situation in the Korean peninsula.

6. US asks allies to mull its 'sanctions act' before Russian military purchases: The US on Friday said its friends and allies should take into consideration the law under which any significant purchase of military equipment from Moscow would attract American sanctions.

"CAATSA is a feature and we need to take it seriously. The (Trump) administration is always bound by US law. This is a US law. I'm hoping that not just India, but all of the partners that we engage with will understand that we will have to evaluate any potential large defence purchase from Russia seriously because that's what the law demands of us," Tina Kaidanow, US Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs, told reporters during a conference call on Friday.

ALSO READ: Modi, Putin to focus on US sanctions, Iran, regional issues

7. S-400 purchase from Russia under US sanctions cloud? The above US statement comes at a time when India is planning to purchase five S-400 Triumf air defence systems for around $4.5 billion from Russia.

In April this year, reports citing official sources had said that India was likely to seal the deal to procure S-400 Triumf air defence missile systems from Russia before top leaders of the two countries held an annual summit around October. Negotiations for the deal were reported to be nearing completion and differences over price and other peripheral issues were almost bridged.

Sources told news agencies that both Russia and India were eyeing inking of the contract before summit talks between Prime Minister Modi and Russian President Putin, which may take place either in September or October in India.

At that time, they had said India was confident of finalising the mega deal with Moscow notwithstanding provisions of the CAATSA.

ALSO READ: Negotiation on S-400 missiles sale to India is at advanced stage: Russia

8. Why does India want to buy the S-400 Triumf? India wants to procure the long-range missile systems to tighten its air defence mechanism, particularly along the nearly 4,000-km Sino-India border.

In 2016, the two countries had signed an agreement on the 'Triumf' interceptor-based missile system, which can destroy incoming hostile aircraft, missiles and even drones at ranges of up to 400 km. The S-400 is known as Russia's most advanced long-range surface-to-air missile defence system.

China was the first foreign buyer to seal a government-to-government deal with Russia in 2014 to procure the missile system. Moscow has already started delivery of unknown number of the S-400 missile systems to China.

Negotiators from India have been in talks with their Russian counterparts for over one and half years for the purchase of at least five such systems.

The S-400 is an upgraded version of the S-300 system. The missile system is manufactured by Almaz-Antey and has been in service in Russia since 2007.

9. PM Modi's current Russia visit is different from earlier ones, says Indian envoy: Prime Minister Modi's visit to Russia will be different this time from others as Russian President Vladimir Putin has himself invited the prime minister within two weeks of again becoming the president of Russia, Indian envoy to Russia Pankaj Saran exclusively told ANI.

"It's very important and different kind of meeting between PM Modi and President Putin. Difference is President Putin invited PM to come to visit him and discuss various issues almost within two weeks of him becoming President of Russia for the fourth time," said Saran.

"It's a great opportunity for personal chemistry between them to discuss different issues," he added.

10. PM Modi congratulated Putin for hosting World Cup 2018:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated President Vladimir Putin and Russia for hosting the FIFA World Cup 2018

"The entire world is eagerly waiting for the FIFA World Cup 2018 and you are going to organise the event. You will be at the centre of the world's attention and I congratulate you for that," Modi said.


The 2018 men's FIFA World Cup will be held in Russia from June 14 to July 15. A total of 64 matches will be played by 32 teams in 12 venues located in 11 cities.

During his first informal summit with Putin, Modi said, the world is eagerly waiting for the sporting event.



With agency inputs

First Published: Mon, May 21 2018. 21:27 IST
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