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Putin to visit India this week

22 December 2012 7:20

Russian President Vladimir Putin is going to visit India this week to finalize contracts for Russia’s arms manufacturers and further cement ties between the two countries.

The Kremlin said, “Putin will discuss concrete steps to further develop strategic partnership” in trade, investment, military, and energy policy,” AFP reported.

The Russian president departs Moscow for New Delhi early on Monday. He is expected to hold one-on-one negotiations with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and ink several documents during his stay.

He will also meet the ruling Congress party chief, Sonia Gandhi and the leader of the BJP opposition party, Sushma Swaraj.

“The point of the visit is to sustain the exclusive status of these relations,” said Chairman of the Russian council on foreign and defense policy, Fyodor Lukyanov. “The relationship with India is very broad, but it is not developing very well.”

India is one of Russia’s key partners and its number one arms importer. Russian-made military equipment accounts for 70 percent of Indian arms supplies.

Potential arms deals in the course of Putin’s visit would involve a $3.77-billion deal for 42 Su-30MKI fighters, a $1-billion refurbishment deal for older Su-30MKIs already used by India’s Air Force, and a deal to produce fifth generation Sukhoi fighter jets.

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