Vladimir Putin was in New Delhi on Monday, and this alone is news: this is only the second trip abroad by the Russian leader since the start of the Covid-19 epidemic and after the June summit with Joe Biden in Geneva. Putin missed the G-20 and climate summits in Scotland, but he did travel to New Delhi to renew his annual summits with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and bolster military and energy ties with a traditional ally of Washington.
“His love for India is evident; Although covid And other challenges, relations between India and Russia have strengthened “and it is truly a unique and reliable model,” he said. Modi At the start of the meeting in New Delhi. At the start of the summit, Putin said that India is a “great power” for Russia.
This was a “very symbolic” meeting, Nandan Onikrishnan told AFP. think tank Observer Research Foundation, New Delhi. ‘Indicates how far they are [russos] They don’t want relations to be slowed down or slowed down by Russian failures.”
This journey, especially for its rarity, cannot be read without consideration Escalating tensions between Russia and the United States. India is a A major ally of the United StatesBut it is also an important partner for Russia, and despite efforts to diversify its purchases, Moscow remains by far its main supplier of arms. However, with North Americans and Europeans joining the race, Moscow moved from selling more than 70% of the arms purchased by India to less than 50%. “We see India as a great power and our military relations are unparalleled,” Putin stressed.
The summit began the day before, without Putin, with the arrival of Russian Foreign Ministers Sergei Lavrov and Defense Sergei Shoigu in the Indian capital. According to Lavrov, India’s supply agreement S-400 . missile defense system It was “carried out” despite what it called US efforts to stop – the Indian government confirmed that deliveries had already begun this month.
Lavrov said after the inaugural meeting of the forum, which will move regularly to bring together the foreign and defense ministers of the two countries. He added, “Our Indian friends have made it clear and firmly and clearly that they are a sovereign country and that they are deciding which weapons to buy and who will participate with them in this and other areas.”
According to Russia’s Interfax, Moscow also hopes to sell more S-400 systems to India, in addition to the five systems expected in this decade.
Cooperation until 2031
S-400 sale deal, worth more than $5 billion, signed in 2018, leaves India subject to penalties Under a law that penalizes transactions with the Russian defense and intelligence sectors. According to the US State Department, no decision was made until last week on whether India could benefit from an exception. “It is extraordinary that India decided to go ahead with the deal despite the American rejection,” said analyst Tatiana Belousova, of OB Jindal Global University in the Indian state of Haryana, heard by Al Jazeera,
The visit also resulted in the conclusion of another important contract that includes the firing of more than 600,000 Kalashnikov AK-203 automatic rifles through technology transfer.
The two countries simultaneously signed a military-technical cooperation agreement lasting until 2031 and pledged to increase annual trade to 30 billion US dollars by 2025. Ministry of Foreign Affairs in New Delhi, the two countries signed 28 investment agreements, including agreements in the fields of steel, shipbuilding, coal and energy, He expressed his interest in deepening oil and gas investments.
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