Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin will primarily focus on pressing global and regional issues, including impact of the US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, during their informal summit in the Russian city of Sochi on Monday. Modi Sunday voiced the hope that his talks with Putin would further strengthen the “special and privileged” strategic partnership between India and Russia.
In a series of tweets — in Russian and then in English — on the eve of his visit to Russia, Modi said he looked forward to his meeting with Putin. “Greetings to the friendly people of Russia. I look forward to my visit to Sochi tomorrow and my meeting with President Putin. It is always a pleasure to meet him,” Modi tweeted.
During their informal summit in Sochi, the two leaders will primarily focus on global and regional issues, including the impact of the US decision to withdraw from a nuclear deal with Iran. “Am confident the talks with President Putin will further strengthen the Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership between India and Russia,” Modi said in another tweet.
Sources said the two leaders will meet for four to six hours for the “agendaless” talks, where deliberations on bilateral issues are likely to be very limited. They said the issues may include economic impact on India and Russia in the wake of the US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, situation in Afghanistan, Syria, terrorism and matters relating to upcoming SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organisation) and BRICS summits.
Sources said the possible impact of the US sanctions against Russia under Countering America’s Adversaries through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) on Indo-Russia defence cooperation may also figure in the talks. India will not allow its defence engagement with Russia to be dictated by any other country, the sources said.
The two leaders may also deliberate on extending the India-Russia civil nuclear cooperation to third countries, possible areas for cooperation for the International North-South Transport Corridor project, India’s engagement with the five-nation Eurasian Economic Union and the situation in the Korean peninsula.