Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday hosted Russian President Vladimir Putin at a private dinner at the Lok Kalyan Marg in New Delhi, soon after he arrived in India. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj received him. Putin is on a two-day visit to India.
Putin and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold the 19th India-Russia annual bilateral summit and are expected to review bilateral defence cooperation in the wake of the US sanctions against Russian defence majors, PTI reported.
“Welcome to India, President Putin. Looking forward to our deliberations, which will further enhance India-Russia friendship,” Modi said on Twitter. The Russian president is leading a high-level delegation comprising Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Trade and Industry Minister Denis Manturov.
The two countries are expected to sign an agreement to supply New Delhi with S-400 air defence systems during Putin’s visit. The value of the contract will be more than $5 billion (Rs 36,600 crore), according to Putin’s aide Yury Ushakov.
The purchase, however, will violate sanctions that the United States has imposed on arms purchases from Russia. On Thursday, the United States warned India against purchasing the S-400 air defence systems.
Last month, United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Washington was thinking about granting India waivers from sanctions on Russia and Iran. He said Washington did not aim to “penalise great strategic partners like India”.
Putin and Modi are also expected to discuss a deal for four Krivak-class frigates worth $2 billion (Rs 14,739 crore) and 200 light utility Ka-226 helicopters pegged at $1 billion (Rs 7,369 crore).