Visit of Russian President Putin

During the one-day visit of Russian President Vladmir Putin, on 11 December 2014, India and Russia reaffirmed to carry forward the strategic partnership between the two countries and decided to expand cooperation in sectors such as energy, defence, health and mining.

Prominent among the 20 agreements, including seven inter-governmental pacts, was the one through which Russia promised to build 12 nuclear reactors and contribute in the ‘Make in India’ programme by manufacturing advanced helicopters.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin unveiled the “Druzhba-Dosti” vision to strengthen the bilateral partnership over the next decade at the end of the 15th annual Summit that discussed broad spectrum of the relationship. ‘Druzhba’ in Russian language means friendship just as ‘Dosti’ in Hindi.

Prime Minister Modi said Moscow would remain India’s top defence partner. Praising President Putin as a leader of great nation with which India has “friendship of unmatched mutual confidence, trust and goodwill”, he said Moscow remains a “pillar of strength”.

Russia has offered to fully manufacture in India its most advanced helicopters that could be used both for military and civilian purposes.  India also suggested that Russia must shift some manufacturing facilities to India for spares and defence components to which President Putin responded “very positively”.

President Putin said Russia and India have been long cooperating in the defence sector and the two countries have reached a level of joint production of military hardware. He said Moscow is not averse to producing military hardware in India, pointing to the Brahmos missile programme and ongoing projects of advance fighter jet and multi-role transport aircraft.

On the trade front, both sides outlined a number of initiatives aimed at enhancing it from current $10 billion to $30 billion by 2025 by when the level of mutual investments will be over $15 billion each way.

Among the 20 pacts signed include one providing for cooperation, covering joint exploration and production of hydrocarbons, long term LNG supplies and joint study of a hydrocarbon pipeline system connecting Russia with India.

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