Prime Minister Narendra Modi is “very optimistic” about his visit to Russia for talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin
“Today I will commence my visit to Russia, my first bilateral visit after we formed the Government. I am very optimistic about the outcome of this visit,” Modi said in a Facebook post.
On Wednesday, Modi leaves for Moscow where he will attend the 16th India-Russia annual summit meeting during which a number of bilateral agreements are expected to be signed, with trade being a major focus area.
Russia has supplied nuclear technology to many projects in India including the latest one at Kudamkulam in Tamil Nadu.
“My visit will deepen the cooperation between India and Russia in the economic, energy and security spheres. We also want to increase cooperation in science and technology, mining among other sectors. Trade ties between India and Russia can increase even further, to benefit not only our two nations but also the world,” the post said.
This will be the first meeting between Modi and Putin since their formal interaction at the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) summit in Ufa in July, Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar said on Tuesday.
There will be an interaction between Modi and Russian businesspersons to invite them to invest in India. He will also attend a ‘Friends of India’ programme.
President Putin will host a dinner for Modi in Moscow. The two leaders will hold talks on Thursday. After their meeting, they are expected to sign key agreements on defence and nuclear energy.
Modi will also address about 3,000 members of the Indian community at Expocentre in Moscow.
India, the third largest oil importer after the US and China, has been pushing for greater involvement in major gas and oil exploration projects in Russia. Russia is one of the top oil producers globally and has huge reserves of natural gas.
Expanding economic ties is also top of the agenda, with CEOs from both sides meeting. Currently bilateral trade stands at $10 billion, which the two countries want to enhance to $30 billion in the next 10 years.