BRICS Summit 2016: India, Russia bolster defence ties, ink 16 agreements
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (R) shakes hands with Russian President Vladimir Putin ahead of the Indo-Russia Annual Summit at Taj Exotica Hotel in Goa. Photograph: (Getty)
At the 17th India-Russia Annual Summit in the western Indian state of Goa, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin renewed their strategic ties, signing 16 agreements and making key announcements in various fields of energy, power, shipbuilding, space and smart cities.
After holding one-on-one talks, the two leaders agreed to enhance defence and economic cooperation taking the India-Russia partnership to new horizons. The two countries signed pacts on the purchase of four naval frigates and air defence systems. The highlight of the bilateral talks was the signing of the $1 billion deal on joint production of 200 Kamov helicopters.
Vikas Swarup, the spokesperson of the Indian foreign affairs ministry tweeted the details of the agreements from the venue.
The leaders also agreed to the foundation of unit-3 and unit-4 of the nuclear reactors being set up with Moscow's assistance in Kudankulam, a seaside town in the southern state of Tamil Nadu.
The two leaders met on the margins of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) Summit 2016. World leaders arrived in Goa earlier today to participate in the 8th BRICS Summit and first-ever BRICS-BIMSTEC Outreach Summit. While the five-member BRICS group comprises Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, the seven-member BIMSTEC bloc has Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bhutan and Nepal.
Seeking to further isolate Pakistan on terror, India will mount a major diplomatic offensive against it and push for stepped-up cooperation, including support for a comprehensive global convention to tackle the menace.
Modi will also hold a bilateral meeting with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the summits.
The meeting will likely revolve around the issues of India's NSG membership bid and China blocking a United Nations resolution on Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) chief and the Pathankot attack mastermind Masood Azhar designating him as a terrorist.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang on Friday said that there was no change in China's stand on the two issues. The spokesperson said relations between India and China made "great headway" despite some "disputes" but there was no change in Beijing's stand on the issues of NSG and Azhar.