Prime Minister Narendra Modi met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi, where the two leaders will hold informal talks discussing several issues concerning global and regional importance. He arrived in Russia this morning.
In what is being billed as an ‘agenda less meet’, Prime Minister Modi said the strategic partnership between India and Russia has now been elevated into a “special privileged strategic partnership”.
“India and Russia have been friends for a long time,” he said in his opening remarks and also thanked President Putin for inviting him for the first-ever informal meeting at Sochi.
The prime minister also recalled his first visit to Russia with then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in 2001 and said Putin was the first world leader whom he met after becoming the chief minister of Gujarat.
“The seeds of the ‘strategic partnership’ sown by then Prime Minister Vajpayee and President Putin have now grown into a “special privileged strategic partnership” between the two countries,” he said.
Modi thanked Russia for playing a major role in helping India get a permanent membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation – an eight nation bloc which aims at military and economic cooperation between the member states. India and Pakistan were admitted last year into the organisation.
“We are working together on International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) and BRICS,” Modi said.
Welcoming Prime Minister Modi to Sochi, Putin said his visit would give a fresh impetus to bilateral ties. He said Russia and India have been cooperating on several fronts in the multilateral and the international fora.
This is his second such informal summit with a global leader in less than a month. The two leaders will primarily focus on pressing global and regional issues, including impact of the US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, during their informal summit in Russian city of Sochi on Monday.
They issues on the table may include economic impact on India and Russia in the wake of the US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, situation in Afghanistan and Syria, threat of terrorism, and matters relating to the upcoming Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) and BRICS summits.
The two leaders may also deliberate on extending Indo-Russia civil nuclear cooperation to third countries, possible areas for cooperation for the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) project, India’s engagement with five-nation Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and the situation in the Korean peninsula.
(With inputs from PTI)