In order to give a major boost to Indo-Russia ties especially in the context of the post-Covid world and at a time when the Taliban took over the reins in Afghanistan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin are set to oversee the signing of at least ten agreements in multiple sectors.
“About 10 bilateral agreements will be signed, which are quite important and include some semi-confidential ones,” Russian news agency Tass has quoted Russian Presidential Aide Yuri Ushakov as saying.
“We are confident that the package of agreements will be signed as part of the visit (of Mr Putin),” he said.
Mr Putin would be heading straight for talks with Prime Minister Modi immediately after his arrival in New Delhi on Monday afternoon around 1730 hours.
No specific limits have been planned for the Putin-Modi talks, but sources indicate Putin would not make a night halt and could depart from India the same evening around 2200 hours.
A Joint Statement also is proposed to be issued, Indian officials have said.
“The president and the prime minister will talk as much as they want. And then the departure, regardless of whether it’s late evening or night time,” Ushakov also said.
“There will be a series of meetings that day (Dec 6)…We foresee an intensive engagement,” MEA spokesman Arindam Bagchi told reporters at the regular weekly briefing on Thursday referring especially to the inaugural ‘2 plus 2’ dialogue of the Foreign and Defence ministers of India and Russia.
The last India-Russia Annual summit was held in September 2019 during the visit of PM Modi to Vladivostok in Russia.
Besides the ‘2Plus2’ meet, External Affairs Minister Dr Jaishankar will also hold a bilateral meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov. At the much expected ‘2 Plus 2’ meeting, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister Jaishankar will represent the Indian side in the dialogue with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov and Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu.
Mr Lavrov and Mr Sergei Shoigu are expected to arrive on Sunday.
The leaders will discuss bilateral, regional and international and defence-related issues.
The Russian delegation for the New Delhi summit has also been downsized with only Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Defence Minister Sergey Shoigu, Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov, Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin and Ushakov accompanying Putin.
This will be Putin’s only second trip abroad since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. He had travelled to Geneva in June for a Summit with the US President Joe Biden.
It has been for months now that External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov along with National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Secretary of the Russian Security Council Nikolay Patrushev are preparing the ground for the key 21st India-Russia Annual Summit.
“We intend to build up truly multifaceted bilateral cooperation. We regard India as one of the strong independent centers of a multipolar world,” Putin has said lately.
Addressing the Eastern Economic Forum-2021 (EEF) in September in virtual format, Mr Modi had called President Putin “a great friend of India” under whose guidance the strategic partnership between the two countries has continued to grow.