India, Russia hold first informal summit

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin held their first informal Summit in Sochi, Russia on May 21, which helped deepen bilateral exchanges on international and regional issues

May 21, 2018

PM Modi and President Putin agreed that the Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership between India and Russia was an important factor for global peace and stability

The leaders also pledged to continue working together through multilateral organisations such as the United Nations, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, BRICS and G-20

A Strategic Economic Dialogue between India’s NITI Aayog and Russia’s Ministry of Economic Development will be set up to identify greater synergy in bilateral trade and investment

Informal Summits provide an added engagement at leadership level, besides the Annual Summits; PM Modi invited President Putin for the 19th Annual Summit in India later in the year

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Vladimir Putin held their first informal Summit in the Sochi, Russia on May 21. The summit provided an occasion for both leaders to deepen their friendship and exchange views on international and regional issues. The meeting follows a long line of high level political exchanges between India and Russia that has boosted bilateral ties. On the latest occasion, PM Modi and President Putin agreed that the Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership between India and Russia was an important factor for global peace and stability. They share the view that India and Russia have an important role to play in contributing to an open and equitable world order. The countries are two of the world’s largest economies in the world with annual bilateral trade worth around US$8 billion.

During PM Modi’s visit, the leaders agreed to intensify consultation and coordination with each other, including on the Indo-Pacific Region.  PM Modi and President Putin also agreed to continue working together through multilateral organisations such as the United Nations, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, BRICS and G-20. Both leaders expressed their concern over terrorism and radicalization, and their determination to combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.  In this context, they endorsed the importance of restoring peace and stability in Afghanistan in an atmosphere free from the threat of terrorism, and agreed to work together towards achieving this objective. The leaders also held detailed discussions of topics related to national development plans and priorities of both the nations.

While expressing their satisfaction at the positive momentum since the last bilateral Summit in St Petersburg in June 2017, the two leaders directed their officials to prepare concrete outcomes for the forthcoming Summit in India later this year.  PM Modi and President Putin also agreed to institute a Strategic Economic Dialogue between NITI Aayog of India and Russia’s Ministry of Economic Development to identify greater synergy in bilateral trade and investment. Russia is one of India’s most prominent partners in energy cooperation, covering natural gas to nuclear power, which has seen steady growth over the past few years. In this, Russia’s Gazprom PJSC, the world’s largest gas producer, is expected to soon start supply under a long-term liquefied natural gas (LNG) deal with India’s GAIL.

The summit reiterated the significance of long-standing partnership between India and Russia in the fields of defence and security, hydrocarbons and nuclear energy, IT and aerospace, steel and diamonds, fertilizers and chemicals as well as food and pharmaceuticals, and welcomed the ongoing cooperation in these areas. The two leaders welcomed the idea of holding informal Summits as an additional engagement at leadership level, besides the Annual Summits between the two leaders. During his visit, PM Modi invited President Putin for the 19th Annual Summit in India later in the year.