Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be attending the 5th Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostoc, Russia, as the chief guest between September 4-6. He will also hold the 20th India-Russia annual summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin. While expanding existing civil nuclear cooperation will be a key focus area during the visit, the buzz is that a new impetus will be given to military-technical cooperation and increasing annual bilateral trade to $30 billion by 2025.
Both sides will sign as many as 25 pacts across sectors such as defence, trade, investments, industrial cooperation, energy and connectivity corridors at the summit, The Economic Times reported. The proposed agreements will also cover education and culture which would increase the intake of Indian students in top Russian educational institutes.
Delhi and Moscow may also conclude a pact that will employ Indians at projects in the resource-rich Far East. The fact that the summit is being organised in Vladivostok, the hub of Far East Russia, is being viewed as testimony to the region's importance for both countries as part of their respective Indo-Pacific and Asia-Pacific strategies. Before the summit, the two leaders will reportedly visit Zvezda shipbuilding complex - the ships built there in future may be used to deliver Russian oil and LNG to India.
"We expect that this highly anticipated meeting between President Putin and Prime Minister Modi will take the special and privileged partnership between the two countries to new heights," Russian Ambassador Nikolay Kudashev said recently, adding that Russia is eager to successfully implement huge infrastructure projects such as Vladivostok-Chennai sea route transport corridor, Northern sea route as well as other initiatives.
On Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin will host Modi for a one-on-one dinner during which the two leaders will explore steps to effectively coordinate on global issues. The two leaders enjoy strong personal rapport. At the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Summit in June, Putin recognised Modi's contribution in strengthening bilateral relations. He said that Russia awarded its highest state honour 'Order of St Andrew the Apostle' to Modi for his initiatives in developing the bilateral relationship. In April 2018, when Modi visited Sochi for the informal summit, Putin, in a rare gesture, accompanied the PM to the airport before his departure.
With PTI inputs