Modi To Visit Russia On May 21 For Informal Summit With Putin

Modi To Visit Russia On May 21 For Informal Summit With Putin

"Both leaders will also discuss their respective national developmental priorities and bilateral matters", the ministry of external affairs said in a statement on Monday.

Speaking in Sochi, Putin said the new systems unveiled this year will significantly increase Russia's military capabilities and "ensure a strategic balance for decades". Since the beginning of 2018, they have had several phone conversations.

This is in line with the new template framed last month, when Modi had travelled to Wuhan to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping on April 28. The two leaders might also discuss how their two countries could counter the challenge posed to their defence cooperation by impending United States sanctions against several Russian entities involved in military supplies to India under the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).

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The Modi-Putin summit is surprising in another respect - Modi will be meeting Putin at the SCO summit in Qingdao in early June, and Putin is expected to visit India for the annual India-Russia summit also in the next few months.

The Prime Minister's previously unannounced visit comes after National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale visited Moscow last week to discuss a way out of the U.S. sanctions on Russian firms. There had been some differences over Pakistan and Afghanistan, but it had never threatened the relationship, as per sources. Observers have termed the move significant to boost investments in India.

Informal summits are in - or so it would seem. "Instead, the focus" will be on discussions on the "big picture" globally, according to observers. The national security advisor also held talks with Secretary of the Russian Security Council Nikolai Patrushev besides calling on Lavrov, an Indian Embassy statement said. "We need to affirm in the face of a hard geopolitical climate that the strategic partnership between India and Russian Federation remains relevant", he told The Wire. With Russia still being a major defence supplier, a recent U.S. law could impose sanctions on India if it goes ahead with significant purchases from Russia, for example the S-400 Triumf air defense system. Reports in the media have suggested that Pakistan was keen on defence purchases from Russian Federation. French president Emmanuel Macron is supposed to be travelling to Russian Federation later this month and German chancellor Angela Merkel will hold talks with Putin on May 18.