STORY: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday (September 04) met Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the BRICS Summit in China and discussed entire gamut of bilateral relationship, an official said.
In October last year, India and Russia signed defence and energy deals worth billions of dollars at a summit in Goa that sought to inject new life into a relationship which has been tested by shifting global alliances and conflict in the Middle East.
The defence pacts sought to deepen military ties between the two countries that date back to the Soviet era, when India entirely depended on Moscow to equip its armed forces. The United States has since taken over as India’s top arms supplier.
Spokesman of Indian Foreign Ministry, Raveesh Kumar, said the two leaders discussed ways to boost bilateral trade and investment, especially in the oil and natural gas sector.
The BRICS joint declaration also called upon the countries to prevent financing of militant networks and their actions from their territories and for the first time it mentioned Pakistani-based militant networks by name, which India accuses of perpetuating violence on its soil.
In China’s city of Xiamen, economic ties, such as the massive infrastructure investment project ‘One Belt, One Road’, are likely to dominate the agenda at the BRICS summit.
The September 3-5 summit gives China as host its latest chance to position itself as a bulwark of globalization in the face of U.S. President Donald Trump’s “America First” agenda.