India and Russia on Friday formally sealed the USD 5 billion S-400 air defence system deal and signed eight pacts at the annual bilateral summit in New Delhi even as the US gave a guarded response over the development.
The signing of defence deal between India and Russia may invite US sanctions. However, in a guarded statement, the US embassy in New Delhi said that its intent to slap sanctions against Russia was not aimed at imposing damage to the military capabilities of its “allies or partners”, PTI reported.
ALSO READ | List of pacts signed between India and Russia
The US reaction came shortly after India concluded a deal for purchase of S-400 missile defence system from Russia. After wide-ranging talks, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday signed the defence deal despite the US warning. Both the sides also talked about taking “decisive” action without “double standards” to tackle the menace of terrorism. Follow HIGHLIGHTS here
Both the sides signed eight pacts in areas ranging from defence, railways nuclear energy, space and economy. A crucial MoU was signed between Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) and the Federal Space Agency of Russia ‘ROSCOSMOS’ on joint activities in the field of human spaceflight programme Gaganyaan.
Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said that Cochin Shipyard has inked a pact with Russian firm United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC) to boost water transportation in India. Calling on Russian investors to tap the vast opportunities in India’s infrastructure space, Gadkari said India has huge potential and appetite for innovation in the field. The water resources minister was addressing the India-Russia Business Summit in New Delhi.
In the field of agriculture, a pact was signed between Russia’s PhosAgro the world’s leading producer of phosphate-based nutrients and Indian Potash Ltd. The Indian company has agreed to import up to 2 million tonnes of fertilisers worth USD 1 billion (over Rs 7,300 crore) from PhosAgro, over the next three years.
The two sides are also looking at the possibility of building a gas pipeline from Russia to India to supply energy, a joint statement said.
An MoU was also signed between India’s Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) and Russia’s SIRIUS to further the Interaction between young people of India and Russia, especially schoolchildren. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Putin interacted with some young talents drawn from AIM and SIRIUS educational centre today.
During the summit, PM Modi said that India and Russia are committed to cooperating in the fight against terrorism. President Putin also said the two countries have agreed to step up cooperation in combating the menace of terrorism and drug trafficking. India and Russia condemned cross-border terrorism and providing safe havens to terrorists as they called for a “decisive” response to the menace of international terrorism without any “double standards”.
In a joint statement issued after the 19th India-Russia annual summit, the two countries agreed to “converge their efforts” to eradicate terrorist networks, their sources of financing, arms and fighters’ supply channels, to counter terrorist ideology, propaganda and recruitment.
The two leaders also participated in the Russia-India business summit where PM Modi termed Russia as New Delhi’s traditional ally. He said that times have changed but the relationship with Moscow has remained the same. He reiterated the close partnership with Russia and said that the bilateral trade has also grown over the years as it rose to 20 per cent in 2017-18.
PM Modi also invited Russia to set up a dedicated defence industrial park in India as he looked to expand ties with Moscow. He stated that India is the most open economy in respect to FDI. “We are committed to building a new India. We have to do this as early as possible,” he was quoted saying by PTI.
Listing vast business opportunities in India, he said India is modernising its ports under Sagarmala project, building metro rail projects in 50 cities, expanding rail and road network and modernising airports.
While committing to promote green development and low-carbon economy, India and Russia Friday asked all countries to fully implement the Paris Agreement on climate change. In a joint statement issued after the 19th India-Russia annual summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin, both the nations also asked developed countries to provide financial and technological support to developing economies to enhance their capability in mitigation and adaptation.
“The sides committed to further promote green development and low-carbon economy, in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication,” the statement said.
Before leaving India after the conclusion of the summit today, Putin also met President Ram Nath Kovind at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi. Vladimir Putin landed in India on a two-day visit with a high-level delegation on Thursday and was received by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. PM Modi yesterday hosted a private dinner for Putin at his official residence at 7, Lok Kalyaan Marg, as the two leaders warmed up to the main summit on Friday.
-With PTI inputs