Prime Minister Narendra Modi met his “old friend” Russian President Vladimir Putin at the ongoing BRICS summit in Goa.
The Indian PM hailed his meeting with Putin in the following words: “An old friend is better than two new friends.”
Of course, Russia is India’s oldest and most trusted ally in this dog-eat-dog world of global politics. It was therefore no surprise that Russia and India inked a total of 16 agreements sending a clear signal that the friendship remains very strong.
Major agreements include the purchase of S-400 Triumf missile defence system, which is widely hailed as one of the two most powerful systems in the world.
The Russian S-400 missile defence system will also be used by China, the only country other than India to have inked a deal with Russia for the same.
The long-range missile defence system will cost over $5 billion. It has the proven capability to intercept any hostile that flies – aircraft, missile and drones – up to a range of 400 km. India will obtain at least five S-400s. It should be noted here that China too had long back signed a deal with Russia to obtain the same and they’ll be getting the Triumf before India.
But the missile defence system is not the only thing India will be getting from Russia; a JV to build Russian Kamov 226-T helicopters has been entered into.
The Kamov helicopters are currently used by the Indian armed forces. The JV will lead to the manufacture of 200 such choppers in India helping in Modi government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative while creating a defence industrial base in the country.
Then there is Project 11356 or Admiral Grigorovich-class frigate, which Russia will build for the Indian Navy. New Delhi will reportedly acquire three of them.
Admiral Grigorovich-cl;ass Frigate is the latest Russian Naval warship, the first of which was commissioned only this year in March. Yantar Baltic Shipbuilding plant press service
Besides the defence deals, Russia will be investing half of the amount in a $1 billion ‘Russian Indian Investment Fund’ for building India’s infrastructure.
Following the signing of the agreements both Putin and Modi inaugurated units 3 and 4 of the Kudankulam nuclear plant.
In the joint press conference, Prime Minister Modi said that Russia stands with India in the fight against terrorism. “Russia’s clear stand on the need to combat terrorism mirrors our own,” Modi said.