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Russian President Vladimir Putin’s 2-day visit to India 2018

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On October 4, 2018, Russian President Vladimir Putin reached New Delhi commencing his on two-day visit to India. He was received by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.

Visit Highlights:
i.The Russian President attended the 19th India-Russia Annual Bilateral Summit 2018 in New Delhi.
ii.Held delegation level talks with PM Narendra Modi.
iii.He met the President Ram Nath Kovind at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
iv.In his visit to India, Russian president Vladimir Putin is accompanied by a high-level delegation, including Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Trade and Industry Minister Denis Manturov.
v.India signs $5.43 billion S-400 missile deal with Russia & 8 MoUs/Agreements Exchanged.
vi.He interacted with talented students at the AIM-SIRIUS Innovation Festival 2018 in New Delhi.
vii.Indo-Russia business summit: Business leaders from the two countries meet Putin, Modi

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s 2-day visit to India 2018Meeting with PM Narendra Modi:

On October 5, 2018, the Russian President Vladimir Putin met Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Hyderabad House in New Delhi.

i.They held bilateral talks focusing on:

  • Defence cooperation in the wake of the US sanctions against Russian defence majors,
  • Trade, investment, connectivity, energy, space and tourism and
  • Issues including the US sanctions on Iranian oil.
  • Cooperating in fight against terrorism.

ii.Trade and defence cooperation MOU worth $10 billion was signed between the countries.

India signs $5.43 billion S-400 missile deal with Russia:

India and Russia signed their biggest defence deal in over two decades for Five S-400 air defence systems with worth $5.43 billion ( Rs. 40,300 crore), surface-to-air missile systems but they have to deal with the challenge of transferring the $5.43 billion for the contract in the face of financial sanctions by the US.

  • The S-400 regiments will be delivered starting 2020 and are likely to be deployed to cover both the Pakistani and Chinese borders.
  • China was the first foreign buyer Signed a $3 billion deal for integrating Six S-400 in 2014.
  • U.S. has warned the deal could attract sanctions under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) law that restricts defence purchases from Russia, Iran and North Korea.
  • 15% advance payment would be through rupee-rubble exchange. so deal would automatically trigger sanctions.

India signs $5.43 billion S-400 missile deal with RussiaAbout S-400 missile system

  • S-400 Triumf previously known as the S-300 PMU-3 is an anti-aircraft weapon system.
  • Developed by Russia’s Almaz Central Design Bureau as an upgrade of the S-300 family.
  • It has been in service with the Russian Armed Forces since 28 April 2007.
  • The S-400 uses four missiles to fill its performance envelope: the very-long-range 40N6 (400 km), the long-range 48N6 (250 km), the medium-range 9M96E2 (120 km) and the short-range 9M96E (40 km).
  • One S-400 can launch 160 guided missiles simultaneously, engage 80 targets at a time.(2 Missile to attack 1 target).
  • It can hit aircraft, cruise missiles and even fast-moving intermediate range ballistic missiles. The S-400 has three components — the missile launchers themselves, a powerful radar and a command centre.
  • The radar can track targets 600 km away. For example, S-400 systems deployed in India can track aircraft flying well outside the country’s borders, which is a major threat deterrence to the enemy’s air force.
  • The S-400 can engage almost every type of modern warplanes. Advanced jet fighters with stealth capabilities will also find it difficult to operate in a battlespace where the S-400 is deployed.

8 MoUs/Agreements Exchanged between India and Russia:

Sl. No. Name of the MOU/Agreement/Treaty Exchanged on the Russian Federation side by Exchanged on the Indian side by
1 Protocol for Consultations between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and MEA for the period 2019-2023 H.E. Mr. Sergey Lavrov Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russian Federation Smt. Sushma Swaraj External Affairs Minister
2 Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation and the National Institution for Transforming India (NITI Aayog) H.E. Mr Maxim Oreshkin, Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation Dr Rajiv Kumar VC, NITI Aayog
3 Memorandum of Understanding between Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) and the Federal Space Agency of Russia ‘ROSCOSMOS’ on Joint Activities in the field of Human Spaceflight Programme Mr. Dmitriy Rogozin Director of ROSCOMOS Shri Vijay Gokhale Foreign Secretary
4 Memorandum of Cooperation between the Indian and Russian Railways Mr Oleg Belozerov, CEO-Chairman of JSC Russian Railways Shri Vijay Gokhale Foreign Secretary
5 Action Plan for Prioritization and Implementation of Cooperation Areas in the Nuclear Field Mr. Alexi Likhachev, DG, Rosatom Shri K N Vyas Secretary, DAE
6 Memorandum of Understanding between the Russian Ministry of Transport and Indian Railways in the Development Cooperation in Transport Education H.E. Mr. Nikolay Kudashev, Ambassador of the Russian Federation to India
Shri D.B. Venkatesh Varma Ambassador of India to Russia
7 Memorandum of Understanding between the National Small Industries Corporation (NSIC), of India and the Russian Small and Medium Business Corporation (RSMB), on Cooperation in the field of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Mr. Alexander Braverman, Director General , Russian Small and Medium Business Corporation
Shri D.B. Venkatesh Varma Ambassador of India to Russia
8 Cooperation Agreement in the Fertilizers Sector between the Russian Direct Investment Fund” (“RDIF”); PJSC Phosagro (PhosAgro) and Indian Potash Limited (IPL) Mr Kirill Dmitriev, Director general of the Russian Direct Investment Fund Andrey Guryev, CEO for PhosAgro
Shri D.B. Venkatesh Varma Ambassador of India to Russia

MOU’s Key Points:

Nuclear Plant Cooperation:

  • India and Russia concluded an action plan for expanding civil nuclear partnership, comprising a second site for Russian nuclear reactors in India and cooperation in other markets in West Asia, Africa and Latin America.
  • The two countries intent to develop a project of six nuclear power units of Russian design at a new site in India.
  • India and Russia are involved in a joint project for a nuclear power plant in Bangladesh.

Space Cooperation:

  • The Indian Space Research Organization and the Federal Space Agency of Russia (ROSCOSMOS) signed a memorandum of understanding on joint activities in the field of Human Spaceflight Programme to train Indian astronauts in Russia to support Gaganyaan project to put a human in space by 2022.
  • Also, an Indian monitoring station will be built near the Russian city of Novosibirsk in Siberia as part of the Indo-Russian space deal.

Fertiliser Cooperation:

  • In Agriculture, Russia’s Phosagro and Indian Potash Ltd (IPL) along with RDIF signed MOU for investment projects in the fertilizer sector, including the construction of infrastructure and technology.
  • Phosagro will provide supply of 2 million tonnes of fertiliser to India worth $1 billion. Deliveries will take place between 2019 and 2021.
    Since 2016, Phosagro has supplied about 1.2 million tonnes of product to India. IPL is India’s largest importer of mineral fertilizers.

Railway Cooperation:

Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) was signed between the Ministry of Railways of the Republic of India and the Joint Stock Company ‘Russian Railways’ for the following:

  • Implementation of speed up gradation project of Nagpur-Secunderabad section,
  • Setting up of single traffic control centre for managing mixed traffic at local level,
  • Best practices in freight cargo operation ;
  • Development of multi modal terminals ; and
  • Exchange of best technologies being practiced by the two countries and
  • Training of Indian railways staff with the involvement of Russian railway-related higher education establishments.

MOU was signed between Ministry of Railways and Ministry of Transport of Russian Federation for development of cooperation in transport education.

This included:

  • Cooperation between Russian University of Transport and the National Rail Transportation Institute, Vadodara to jointly organize educational transport seminars,
  • Implementing joint projects in the field of transport education of both countries.

Other Key Points in Summit:

i.The 2 countries have also set a target of achieving $30 billion bilateral trade by 2025.
ii.India-Russia trade rises 20 per cent in 2017-18
iii.India and Russia discussed increasing mutual investments up to $15 billion to grow by 21%.
iv.India and Russia called for the development of the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC).
v.India is also planning on acquiring 4 Krivak-class frigates from Russia, two of which will be built in India, which will be a $2.5 billion deal.
vi.An inter-governmental agreement to manufacture AK-103 assault rifles in India also did not come end in this summit.
vii.India announced establishing ‘Russia Plus’ to facilitate the entry of Russian firms into India.
viii.India to set up fast track, single-window mechanism for Russian investments
ix.India invited Russia to set up a dedicated defence industrial park in India.
x.Putin invites Modi to 2019 Vladivostok Economic Forum in Vladivostok on September 2019.
xi.Indra 2018, joint India-Russia counter-terrorism exercise, to be held in UP in November
xii.Kudankulam nuclear power plant in Tamil Nadu–the fourth and fifth units of the plant are being constructed and the fourth and fifth will be constructed next. According to India’s agreement with Russia, 12 units will be built in the next 20 years.

Atal Innovation Mission & SIRIUS sign MoU for promotion of innovative cooperation between students of India & Russia

i.On October 1-4th, 2018, Young innovators of Atal Tinkering Labs and SIRIUS Educational Foundation came together at a four-day Indo-Russian ATL innovation boot-camp.
ii.It was organized by Atal Tinkering Labs, Atal Innovation Mission, with support from Department of Design, IIT Delhi. 
iii.The innovations developed across space technology, healthcare, smart mobility, clean energy and agricultural technology were showcased to  Prime Minister of India and President of Russia  on October 5th.