Putin in New Delhi Consolidated Russia-India Ties

While the media focuses upon Russian President Vladimir Putin's signing of a bill regarding U.S. adoptions of Russian children, Putin’s schedule over recent days reflects his focus upon more serious strategic matters, such as strengthening Russia’s alliances with India.

During a brief 18-hour visit to New Delhi on Christmas Eve to attend the 13th Indo-Russia Annual Summit, Russian President Vladimir Putin held comprehensive talks with the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on all key issues, bilateral and international. They signed 10 agreements, including defense deals worth around $4.5 billion, and undertook an extensive review of bilateral cooperation, especially in the field of nuclear energy.

Writing in the Indian daily, {The Hindu}, earlier, Putin stressed that "deepening friendship and cooperation with India is among the top priorities of our foreign policy". "India and Russia show an example of responsible leadership and collective actions in the international arena," he wrote, a veiled swipe at the West and in particular the Obama administration, which Putin accuses of seeking to impose its will on the world.

The Russian President expressed the hope that his country will build several nuclear power plants in India in the near future. "We expect that the implementation of our arrangements on the construction of new nuclear power plants in India will begin in the nearest future," he wrote in his article. Indian Prime Minister noted that construction of Unit 1 of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project was now complete, and power generation will commence shortly. He also said India looks forward to the completion of Unit 2 next year. "Negotiations for the construction of Units 3 and 4 at Kudankulam have made good progress. We intend to continue implementing the Roadmap for cooperation in the nuclear energy sector that was signed during President Putin's visit in 2010 as then Prime Minister of Russia," Singh said.

In the area of defense supplies, Russia bagged two military contracts worth more than $4.5 billion to equip the Indian Air Force with 42 more Sukhoi-30 MKI fighter planes and Mi-17 V5 helicopters. Also, India signed contract to buy transport helicopters -- 59 for the Indian Air Force and 12 for the ministry of home affairs.

The pacts include Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Cooperation in Science,Technology & Innovation, cultural exchange program and MoU to promote direct investment which envisages
investments up to $2 billion in important bilateral projects or companies, privatization and other opportunities. "Russia is a key partner in our efforts to modernize our armed forces and enhance our defense preparedness. A number of joint design, development and production projects are underway in high technology areas. We expressed satisfaction that these projects are progressing well," the Indian Prime Minister said.

The productive relationships developing between the nations of Russia, China, and India are in contrast to the destructive orientation of the Obama policy in Pacific and in the Middle East, where we have been hurtling toward a direct confrontation with Russia.

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