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Wed, 27 Mar 2019

Northeast Today

Modi-Putin’s Agenda-less Meeting

Modi-Putin’s Agenda-less Meeting
August 07
13:07 2018

Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the Russian city of Sochi to meet Vladimir Putin, the Russian President, for a one-day informal meeting to discuss domestic as well as foreign policies pertaining to India and Russia. Both the leaders discussed the impact of US pulling out from Iran nuclear deal on their economy as well as other issues such as of Afghanistan and global terrorism. This informal meeting was similar to Wuhan Summit with China held in April earlier this year. It is interesting to see how India is giving more importance to Asian countries to build strategic communication. Nilutpal Timsina reports.


In the recent times, India has changed its foreign policy as the nation is giving more importance to the Asian countries in an effort to cultivate extensive economic and strategic relations. In April, Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Chinese President Xi Jinping in an “informal meeting” during the Wuhan Summit in China first time after 72-days long standoff between Indian troops and Chinese troops in Doklam. Both the leaders shared their perspective on domestic and foreign policies as well as on how to remove the misconception and misunderstanding that may arise between both the nations.

On similar lines, giving a new dimension to the Indo-Russian relationship, Modi met with the Russian President Vladimir Putin on May 21, 2018, for ‘agenda-less’ talks in the Russian city of Sochi before annual formal bilateral summit scheduled in October in India. This is the second time Modi met a leader in an “informal” meeting which the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said it as “agenda-less, flexible and would have no formalities in terms of protocol”.

“This was an important occasion for the two leaders to exchange views on international matters in a broad and long-term perspective with the objective of further strengthening our Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership. Both leaders discussed their respective national developmental priorities and bilateral matters”, said a statement from the MEA.

It was reported that both the leaders talked about the economic impact on India and Russia after US pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal, the situation in Afghanistan, the threat of terrorism and matters relating to the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).

The sources speculated that both the leader discussed the US sanctions against Russia under Countering America’s Adversaries through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) on India-Russia defence deal. However, there is no official confirmation in this regard.

“This informal Summit in Sochi between both the leaders was in keeping with the tradition of regular consultations between India and Russia at the highest levels,” said the statement of MEA.

Both leaders agreed to institute a strategic economic dialogue between NITI Aayog and the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation, to identify greater synergy in trade and investment.

Modi discussed with Putin regarding the expanding cooperation of both the nation in the energy sector and welcomed the arrival of the first consignment of LNG under a long-term agreement between Russian natural gas company Gazprom and GAIL. According to a Russian official, the oil exports to India in 2017 had increased by nearly ten times. “There are serious plans for further cooperation between our oil corporations,” said the official.

The two leaders also reiterated the significance of longstanding partnership in the military, security and nuclear energy fields and welcomed the ongoing cooperation in these areas, said an official statement released by MEA.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said, “They discussed the entire spectrum of our privileged strategic partnership. Special attention was focused on economic cooperation. They noted the stable growth in bilateral trade.” Other topics included high technologies and nuclear energy. Both the leaders have come out for the non-bloc architecture of security in the Asia-Pacific Region.

“In this context, they hailed the successful work of a joint group of priority projects and the activities of relevant government structures working out a new mechanism, as well as a strategy of actions on trade-and-economic and investment cooperation,” Lavrov said.

A Russian official told that Moscow and New Delhi will strongly oppose attempts to politicise the work of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

Prime Minister Modi said the seeds of the ‘strategic partnership’ sown by former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and President Putin have now grown into a “special privileged strategic partnership” which is a “very big achievement” in itself.

Before 2019, Modi is leaving no stone unturned to re-establish a good relationship with important nations which gives a sign of new age diplomacy. After the successful meeting with Chinese President Xi, the “informal” meeting with Putin is an achievement in itself to take the relations of both the nation to new heights.






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