India and Russia propose to sign more than 20 documents, including mega defence and energy deals, at the end of the summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin on 5 October.
The two leaders are expected to hold a private meeting shortly after Putin arrives in India on Thursday before the summit to be held the next day, official sources said. The meeting would provide the two leaders an opportunity to review bilateral ties as well as global developments, including the situation in Afghanistan.
Sources said the two countries had almost finalised 23 documents, including a joint statement that would reflect the strength of bilateral relationship which has withstood the test of time.
The theme of military-technical cooperation would be high on the agenda of President Vladimir Putin’s visit to India, sources added when asked if the much-anticipated S-400 missile defence systems deal also would be signed.
It is understood that India has decided to brush aside the threat of American sanctions and go ahead with the missile deal. The US has been dissuading India from inking the deal as that could attract punitive action against Indian entities under its Countering of America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).
Observers say if India goes ahead with the missile deal despite the US’s warnings, the message will be that it is asserting itself and forging multiple alignments in foreign affairs. But if India develops cold feet because of the fear of American sanctions, the country’s international image could take a beating.
There is also speculation that India and Russia could sign agreements for four frigates of project 11356 for the Indian Navy, production of AK-103 rifles in India and training of India’s first-ever national space crew at the Gagarin Center in Russia.
The Indian government has also been encouraging state-owned firms to purchase stakes in conventional Russian gas fields, including older investments in Sakhalin. Indian investments in Russia’s oil and gas sector exceeds $10 billion.
The Modi-Putin summit beginning could also witness the signing of crucial energy deals between the two countries. As a consequence, the share of Indian firms in Russia’s oil and gas sector would see a significant increase. India’s state-owned ONGC Videsh Limited (OVL) might sign a pact with Gazprom during the summit.