PM Narendra Modi welcomes Putin with warm hug, hosts dinner for Russian President Vladimir Putin ahead of bilateral summit

On his arrival, Putin is accompanied by a high-level delegation and was received by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj at the Delhi airport.

PM Narendra Modi welcomes Putin with warm hug, hosts dinner for Russian President Vladimir Putin ahead of bilateral summit
Twitter/@narendramodi

New Delhi: Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is on a two-day visit to India, arrived in the national capital on Thursday for the annual summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Following the bilateral summit, Russia and India are expected to sign the S-400 air defence system deal and a number of other pacts in key sectors such as space and energy.

On his arrival, Putin is accompanied by a high-level delegation and was received by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj at the Delhi airport.

The Russian President then met PM Modi at his official residence - 7, Lok Kalyan Marg, where the two leaders had a one-on-one meeting. 

Ahead of Putin's arrival, the Prime Minister took to Twitter and said, "Welcome to India, President Putin. Looking forward to our deliberations, which will further enhance India-Russia friendship. @KremlinRussia_E"

Later, PM Modi hosted a private dinner for the visiting dignitary. 

The dinner meeting comes a day ahead of the 19th India-Russia annual summit during which the two leaders will hold comprehensive discussions on wide-ranging bilateral, regional and international issues, including US sanctions against Moscow and counter-terrorism cooperation.

As Putin landed in New Delhi, the Russian news agency TASS reported that on Friday, a number of bilateral agreements will be signed, including the USD 5 billion contract to deliver the S-400 air defence missile systems to India.

Ahead of the visit, the Russian President's aide Yuri Ushakov was quoted by media as saying that Russia and India are planning to sign more than 20 documents at the end of the Putin-Modi talks and that Putin will oversee the signing of the USD 5 billion deal.

The agreements to be signed are likely to boost cooperation in keys sectors such as defence, space, trade, energy and tourism, among others.

The spotlight will be on the S-400 missile defence system deal as, if signed, it could violate US sanctions under the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) instituted by the US Congress on arms purchases from Russia.

Besides holding talks with Modi, the Russian leader will also have a meeting with President Ram Nath Kovind on Friday.

He will also interact with a group of talented children and address an India-Russia business meet.

The last annual summit was held on June 1, 2017, during the visit of the prime minister to Russia.

In May, PM Modi had travelled to Russian coastal city of Sochi for an informal summit with Putin during which they discussed a range of crucial issues.

(With inputs from PTI)

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