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India-Russia Summit 2018

  • 08 Oct 2018
  • 4 min read

President of Russia federation, Vladimir Putin visited India for annual India-Russia Summit 2018.

  • It is the 19th edition of the India-Russia annual bilateral summit. 
  • The Annual Summit meeting between the Prime Minister of India and the President of the Russian Federation is the highest institutionalized dialogue mechanism in the strategic partnership between India and Russia.

India-Russia Relations 

  • India-Russia diplomatic relations are more than 70-years-old.
  • India had friendly relation with USSR since 1950's and relations were further strengthened by the Indo-Soviet Friendship Treaty of 1971.
  • The substantive relationship was cemented when the two countries signed the Declaration on the India-Russia Strategic Partnership in October 2000.
  • In December 2010, the Strategic Partnership was elevated to the level of a Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership.
  • India-Russia ties in the post-Soviet era have acquired a qualitatively new character with enhanced levels of cooperation in almost all areas of the bilateral relationship including political, security, trade and economy, defense, science and technology, and culture.

Major Agreements Signed during the Summit

  • During the course of the visit, India and Russia signed a number of agreements which further strengthened India's cooperation with Russia.
  • India signed a $5.43 billion deal with Russia for the supply of S-400 Triumf missile defense system.
    • S-400 can destroy hostile aircraft, stealth fighters, missiles, and drones at 400 km range.
    • S-400 radars can track hundreds of targets simultaneously.
  • India and Russia have set the target of increasing mutual investments up to $15 billion. Currently, the bilateral trade is less than $10 Billion.
  • Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) and the Federal Space Agency of Russia ‘ROSCOSMOS’ signed a MoU for cooperation on India’s human space mission project Gaganyaan.
  • Memorandum of Cooperation was signed between the Indian and Russian Railways through this which Russian railways company will help India build modern railroads.
  • Action Plan for Prioritization and Implementation of Cooperation Areas in the Nuclear Field was signed and by this agreement, Russia will build 12 units of Nuclear Power Plants in the next 20 years.
  • Other areas of agreements include MoUs on small industries, fertilizers, and consultation between foreign ministries. 

Way Forward

  • The S-400 missile defense system deal was the major focus of the visit as India went ahead with the deal despite the US warning of sanctions on India under Countering America’s Adversaries through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), a US law which imposes sanctions on countries having major trade relations with Russia, Iran, and North Korea. The signing of the deal is the assertion of India's "strategic autonomy" which implies that India's security and foreign policy interests will not be guided by a third country.
  • Agreements signed during the summit cover a diverse area of cooperation like civil nuclear, railways and space along with the usual area of cooperation defense, signifying Russia's importance for India and the fact the with changing times India is looking to go beyond Defense cooperation to deepen its ties with Russia.

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