Press Digest: Putin to sign strategic cooperation deals on visit to Delhi

Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Presidential palace in New Delhi during his previous visit to India. December 24, 2012. Source: RIA Novosti

Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Presidential palace in New Delhi during his previous visit to India. December 24, 2012. Source: RIA Novosti

RBTH presents a selection of views from leading Russian media on international events, featuring a preview of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s upcoming visit to India and an analysis of Russian-Indian relations, as well as reports on a key meeting in Brussels on the cancelation of the South Stream gas pipeline and the announcement of the Ukrainian government's agenda for 2015-2016.

Nezavisimaya Gazeta

The Nezavisimaya Gazeta daily newspaper has published an article on the eve of Vladimir Putin's visit to Delhi on Dec. 10, in which he and India's government will discuss issues concerning the strengthening of long-term strategic cooperation.

Nezavisimaya Gazeta says that during the visit Putin is expected to sign dozens of agreements, among which is a document regarding cooperation in the nuclear energy field, outlining the prospects of close interactivity in that area in the next 15 years. The newspaper underlines that a new strategy in the sphere of nuclear cooperation will be drawn up during the visit. The program concerning the expansion of cooperation in the oil and gas field will also be reviewed.

One of the most important points of the talks will be a discussion of the potential for military-technical cooperation. Nezavisimaya Gazeta reminds its readers that Russia and India are already working on joint projects to create a fifth-generation destroyer, a multipurpose transportation airplane and BraMos missiles. Evaluating the traditional military-technical ties between Moscow and Delhi, Director of the Center for Indian Studies at the RAS Institute of Oriental Studies Tatyana Shaumyan told the newspaper that recently the U.S. has been squeezing Russia out of the Indian arms market. "India is diversifying its military ties," said Shaumyan. "Besides the U.S., in the last several years Israel, France and other European countries have also penetrated the Indian arms market."

Nezavisimaya Gazeta also reports that Moscow and Delhi are currently concerned about the decrease in the turnover of goods. However, it is possible to change this situation for the better: During Putin's visit the countries will discuss the agreement of free trade between the Eurasian Customs Union and India. 

Expert

Expert Magazine reports on the meeting in Brussels between EU Energy Commissioner Maroš Šefčovič and representatives of the EU countries participating in the realization of the now-canceled South Stream gas pipeline, which was to have brought Russian gas to Central Europe via the Black Sea and the Balkans.

According to the magazine, participants of the meeting do not consider the project technically closed yet. Apparently, the fate of South Stream is still to be negotiated because Europe and some of its individual countries are very interested in the project.

Besides the announcement regarding South Stream, a series of other statements was pronounced during the meeting: In particular, the participants emphasized the importance of integrating Central and South-Eastern European gas markets and the diversification of gas suppliers.

Expert explains that the integration of Central and Southern European gas markets could provide the EU with a certain security in the event problems emerge again with Ukrainian transit. By diversification of suppliers the EU means the construction of new terminals that would receive liquefied natural gas and the insistence on developing the South Corridor, which, however, according to the article, would not be capable of serving as a real substitute for South Stream. 

Kommersant

The Kommersant business daily writes about the Ukrainian government's 2015-2016 agenda, which Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk has presented to the country's parliament, the Verkhovna Rada.

The newspaper reports that, according to Yatsenyuk, five percent of Ukraine's GDP will now be allotted to security and defense. The European Wall project, designed to construct a barrier along the Ukrainian-Russian border, will be completed in four years. The State Border Service has already dedicated seven million hryvnias ($450,000) to the project. However, Kommersant adds that, compared to the overall cost of constructing the wall, which is 8 billion hryvnias ($500 million), this amount is not very substantial.

The newspaper also writes that Yatsenyuk has promised to modernize the gas transportation system. Earlier this project was supposed to be realized with the assistance of Germany and Russia. But now Ukraine has announced a tender for attracting foreign investment, however, only from the U.S. or EU countries. Other points in Yatsenyuk's statement were not as encouraging for the population: He announced an upcoming increase in utilities costs.

The decision to cancel Ukraine's non-aligned status and the declaration of Kiev’s intention to join NATO, which was supposed to be approved during the session, was postponed. According to Verkhovna Rada Speaker Volodymyr Groysman, the issue should be decided by the end of the week.

All rights reserved by Rossiyskaya Gazeta.

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