In New Delhi for a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Russian President Vladimir Putin said: We continue to cooperate jointly on global agenda our positions are quite similar in the fight against terrorism, also fighting drug trafficking and organised crime.

Recently Russian President Vladimir Putin visited India and expressed concern over the situation in Afghanistan and flagged the fight against terrorism, drug trafficking and organised crime as key challenges for which Russia and India will have to cooperate. As per as isformation, the two countries signed a contract for the manufacture of nearly 6 lakh AK-203 rifles, but put off a reciprocal military logistics support agreement (RELOS).

In New Delhi for a bilateral meeting Vladimir Putin met Prime Minister Narendra Modi, where Putin said in his opening remarks: We continue to cooperate jointly on global agenda our positions are quite similar in the fight against terrorism, also fighting drug trafficking and organised crime. It is natural we are concerned about the development of the situation in Afghanistan. He also called India a great power, a friendly country and a time-tested friend.

India & Russia

He also called India a great power, a friendly country and a time-tested friend.

Afterwards in the meeting Narendra Modi said, Despite the challenges posed by Covid, the pace of relations between India and Russia has not changed. Our Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership has been continuously strengthening. There have been many fundamental changes at the global level in the last several decades. A lot of geo-political equations have emerged. But India-Russia friendship has been a constant among all these variables.

Both the countries have not only cooperated with each other without any hesitation but have also taken special care of each other sensitivities. It is truly a unique and reliable model of inter-State friendship”. Putin met Narendra Modi, hours after the first India-Russia 2+2 ministerial meeting between Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar with their counterparts Russian Defence Minister and Foreign Minister Sergey Shoigu. At the 2+2 summit, the two sides siigned two contracts for manufacture of nearly 6 lakh AK-203 rifles under a joint venture in Amethi, Uttar Pradesh, which was cleared recently by the government. The deal is worth over Rs 5,000 crore. During this meeting Rajnath Singh also brought up the issue of China aggressive posture along the line of Actual Control.

Ministers

But India-Russia friendship has been a constant among all these variables.

In which he said the pandemic, the extraordinary militarisation and expansion of armament in our neighbourhood and the completely unprovoked aggression on our northern border since early summer of 2020 have thrown in several challenges and that India is confident of overcoming these challenges with its strong political will and inherent capability of its people. Apart from the agreement for the Kalashnikov rifles, the two countries also signed an agreement for military technology cooperation for the next decade from 2021 to 2031.

On the issue of Afghanistan, a joint statement came in which it is said they discussed the evolving situation in Afghanistan, especially the security situation and its implications in the region, the current political situation, issues related to terrorism, radicalisation and drug trafficking etc. They also outlined the priorities which includes ensuring formation of a truly inclusive and representative government in Afghanistan, combating terrorism and drug trafficking, providing immediate humanitarian assistance and preserving the rights of women, children and minorities. It also said that, They also discussed the current humanitarian situation and decided to provide immediate humanitarian assistance to the Afghan people.”

Modi and Putin

It also said that, They also discussed the current humanitarian situation and decided to provide immediate humanitarian assistance to the Afghan people.” 

Very importantly, the leaders also emphasised that Afghanistan territory should not be used for sheltering, training, planning or financing any terrorist groups including ISIS, Al Qaeda, LeT etc. In terms of Defence, both sides agreed to take forward ongoing engagements to encourage “joint manufacturing in India of spare parts, components, aggregates and other products for maintenance of Russian-origin arms and defence equipment under Make-in-India program through transfer of technology and setting up of joint ventures for meeting the needs of the Indian Armed Forces as well as subsequent export to mutually friendly third countries. According to the report, India and Russia signed 28 agreements, including 9 government-to-government agreements and those that spanned areas of defence, space, finance, power, culture, scientific research, education and health among others. The two sides could not conclude the reciprocal logistics support agreement (RELOS).

But on the other hand, India Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said, “it was being put off for the time being since there were some issues pending. While there was a discussion on the eastern Ladakh border situation at the 2+2 meeting, the Russian side briefed India on developments pertaining to the Ukrainian situation”. Both the sides also had a discussed in the Indo-Pacific strategy and Delhi conveyed its security concerns in the region.

Harsh Vardhan Shringla

Both the sides also had a discussed in the Indo-Pacific strategy and Delhi conveyed its security concerns in the region.