Bilateral ties

PM Modi will attend informal summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi on May 21

Discussions might include sanctions imposed by the United States on Russia and Iran, and India’s defence ties with Russia.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin during an informal summit in Sochi, Russia, on May 21, the Ministry of External Affairs said. Putin’s invitation to Modi is in keeping with the “tradition of regular consultations” between the two countries, the statement said.

“This will be an important occasion for the two leaders to exchange views on international matters in a broad and long-term perspective with the objective of further strengthening our special and privileged strategic partnership,” the statement said. “Both leaders will also discuss their respective national developmental priorities and bilateral matters.”

Unidentified officials told NDTV that the one-day meeting will be “agendaless, flexible and would have no formalities in terms of protocol”. Reports speculated that discussions will include sanctions imposed by the United States on Russia and Iran, and India’s defence ties with Russia.

The meeting follows Modi’s informal summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping in April. Modi also invited Xi for an informal summit in 2019. Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale made visits to Moscow in April and May.

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