Prime minister Narendra Modi's long due Russia visit is now beginning. Within minutes after he lands in Moscow, an official of the Indian embassy said that the visit is long awaited. Apart from strengthening Indo-Russia cultural relations, there are high hopes in defence and commercial cooperation.
Prime minister Modi's delegation is scheduled to be accompanied by CEOs of top Indian companies including names such as Prashant Ruia of Essar, Anil Ambani of the Reliance group, MD of Solar Energy Corporation of India, Secretary DIPP, to name a few.
The CEO Business Council Meet is set to take place tomorrow in Kremlin with representation from top Russian conglomerates such as Rosneft with a view to exploring bi-lateral trade cooperation between the two countries.
It is hoped that IGAs will be signed on a three pronged agenda namely production of the Kamov 226T choppers, manufacture of ships and purchase of S-400 air defence systems from Russia. This defence equipment has already been supplied to China.
As western sanctions attempt to squeeze the Russian economy, India offers a fresh alternate market for supply and procurement of a variety of resources and technology. Modi's visit may serve to forge a strong trade and defence "friendship" and PM Modi's reference to Russia as a long standing "friend" may be proven true.
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