Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is on a four-nation tour to Europe, arrived in Russia from Spain on Wednesday.
The prime minister will begin his Russia tour on Thursday with a visit to the Piskariovskoe cemetery, a memorial built for 500,000 Russians killed in Leningrad during World War II. He will also be attending 18th India-Russia Annual Summit on Thursday. He will then be received by Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Konstantin Palace, the latter’s official residence where he hosts world leaders. After the summit, Putin will also reportedly host the prime minister at a private dinner in St Petersburg.
He will also be gracing the St Petersburg International Economic Forum on Friday. This will be the first time when India will be a partner country in this business event. He is also expected to interact with the business leaders from both the countries. As a part of the summit, India will be hosting an exclusive India-Eurasia economic and business breakfast, as reported by NDTV. Interestingly, his visit on June 2nd in St. Petersburg coincides with the 70th year of the establishment of diplomatic ties between Russia and India.
While talks about bilateral trade and technological cooperation between the two countries will continue, Kudankulam nuclear plant will be at the top of the agenda. The deal involves signing off on units 5 and 6 of the plant that are expected to be built in collaboration with a Russian company. The deal was to be signed by 2016 but a line of credit that was extended by India to Russia became an impediment in the process. If signed, this nuclear deal, could be the highlight of the summit. Apart from this, agreements across various sectors like railways, culture, IT, telecommunications and business are also expected.
From Russia, PM Modi will leave for France which will be the concluding part of his tour where he is expected to meet the newly-elected President Emmanuel Macron in Paris. His forays into Europe are part of attempts at deepening cooperation especially at a time when US President Donald Trump’s public statements and policies have alienated certain European leaders.