Russian President Vladimir Putin will visit India for a two-day visit commencing from October 4. Major defence deals including the purchase of the five S-400 air defence systems is likely to top the agenda during his annual bilateral meet with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“During talks with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi the President of Russia will discuss key aspects of the further development of Russian-Indian privileged strategic partnership and exchange opinions on current international and regional issues. A series of documents will be signed following the talks,” the Kremlin press service said in a statement.
Putin will also meet with President Ram Nath Kovind.
During the 19th India-Russia annual bilateral summit, India is most likely to sign the S-400 missile system deal with Russia despite US sanctions against purchase of arms from Russia. India is treading carefully for the latest defence acquisition in order to maintain a balance between new and old allies.
On one hand, New Delhi hopes that it has done enough to bypass US sanctions without irking the Trump administration and on the other it hopes to not let its oldest and largest arms supplier look the Pakistan's way.
During the recent 2+2 meeting, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman apprised his US counterpart of India's intentions to purchase the S-400 system and has requested a presidential waiver of CAATSA (Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act).
While it is crucial for the Modi government to push the deal with Russia soon because iany delays could sour the close relationship shared by Prime Minister Modi and President Putin and there is a risk that an upset Russia may directly sell arms to Pakistan just as it is doing so to China, skewing the military balance in the region.
Currently, almost two-third of Indian military equipment, including fighters, tanks and missiles, come from Russia and a miffed Russia can cut off the supply of hardwares signficantly emasculating the armed forces’ fighting capability will be significantly.
India to gift three 'Made in India' MiG-21s
During his visit to India, Putin will get a gift of three MiG-21 fighter jets built right here at Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. The jets will be reportedly gift-wrapped in Indian colours and rolled out - one Type 75 aircraft and two Type 77 - and flown back to Moskva.
The MiG-21 jets, originally built in Russia till 1985, are the heart of Indian Air Force's trike team, which inducted the first supersonic fighter back in 1963. Currently, the IAF fleet has about 120 MiG-21s in service which will be phased out in 2021-22.
Deals likely to be signed during 19th India-Russia annual bilateral summit in New Delhi
#Rs 40,000 crore S-400 air defence missile deal,
#Agreement to produce AK-103 assault rifles,
#Joint venture between HAL and Rostec, the Russian helicopter production unit produce 200 Kamov-226T utility helicopters
#4 Talwar class frigates
#2 IL-78 transport planes equipped with Israeli early warning systems
#Training of ISRO astronauts at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre