In what looked like a repeat of the Wuhan ‘boat diplomacy’, Prime Minister Narendra Modi went on a boat ride with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the Black Sea.
The PM, who arrived in Russian city of Sochi earlier today for an ‘informal summit’ with the Russian President, was seen engaged in a conversation with Putin on the boat.
They sailed together from Bocharov Ruchey (or Bocharov Creek), where Putin received Modi, to Olympic Park, the venue of the 2014 Winter Olympics.
“Extremely productive discussions with President Putin. We reviewed the complete range of India-Russia relations as well as other global subjects,” wrote the PM on Twitter.
“Friendship between India and Russia has stood the test of time. Our ties will continue to scale newer heights in the coming years,” he added.
Extremely productive discussions with President Putin. We reviewed the complete range of India-Russia relations as well as other global subjects. Friendship between India and Russia has stood the test of time. Our ties will continue to scale newer heights in the coming years. pic.twitter.com/EnNMarJkcB
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 21, 2018
The PM had during his ‘informal summit’ with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Wuhan had taken a boat ride on the East Lake. Both Xi and Modi were seen engaged in talks while enjoying the vista.
Before taking the boat ride on the seat, Putin and Modi held talks to discuss a range of issues particularly in the light of the US sanctions on Russia which are likely to have an impact on the defence cooperation between Moscow and New Delhi.
Welcoming Modi at Bocharev Creek in the city, Putin drew attention to the defence ties between the two countries.
“Our militaries maintain very close contacts and cooperation. It speaks about a very high strategic level of our partnership,” he said.
Hailing the ties between the “very old friends”, Modi acknowledged Russia’s endorsement for India on the international stage.
“Russia played a major role in helping India get a permanent membership in SCO. We are working together on International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) and BRICS,” said the PM.
Commenting on the annual bilateral summit between the two countries, Modi said that it has been going on uninterrupted for the last 18 years. India holds annual bilateral summits with only two countries – Russia and Japan.
“You have added a new dimension, ‘informal summit’, to our relation which in itself increases the trust between the two nations,” said the PM, who is on his fourth visit to Russia since coming to power in 2014.
US sanctions against Russia under the Countering America’s Adversaries through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) might impact the Indo-Russia defence cooperation, which is what the two leaders are likely to study.
Sanctions may have a possible impact on India’s military purchases from Moscow. The two leaders are also expected to discuss the Indo-Russia civil nuclear cooperation to third countries.
“Both leaders will discuss their respective national developmental priorities and bilateral matters,” read a statement from the External Affairs Ministry.
Modi has previously visited Russia for the 2015 BRICS summit, a state visit in December that same year, and the 2017 annual summit.
Putin is expected to visit India later this year for the annual bilateral summit.