New Delhi: With Prime Minister Narendra Modi paying his first state visit to Russia on December 23-24 to attend the 16th Annual Summit, political and strategic issues will come up for the discussion during the visit.
"Such a visit for us to a country, the contacts with which have been time-tested and that is an old friend, is of course important," Ashok Sajjanhar, India's former ambassador to Kazakhstan, Sweden and Latvia, told TASS recently.
"We hope that it will refresh the relations of our countries," he said.
This will be Modi's first state visit to Moscow and the second to Russia. In July, Prime Minister Modi had visited Ufa (Russia) to participate in the summits of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) and BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa).
Sajjanhar said, "There are a number of issues in which both countries cooperate. This is in particular nuclear energy."
India has also made large investments in developing oil fields in Russia. The two countries also cooperate in the military-technical area.
He said India is expected to buy five Russian S-400 Triumphs, a new generation anti-aircraft missile systems, which means the bilateral cooperation will further develop.
Earlier, Russian Ambassador to India Alexander Kadakin had expressed hope that during Prime Minister Modi's visit vital decisions would be made in the spheres of military-technological cooperation and nuclear power sector as well as humanitarian ties, which would will contribute to further development of Russian-Indian ties.
Prime Minister Modi, who met Russian Vice-Premier Dmitry Rogozin earlier in December, said that his first state visit to Russia would make it possible to upgrade relations between the two countries to a qualitatively new level.
India attaches great importance to special and privileged strategic partnership with Russia, said the Prime Minister, adding that he expected his meetings with the Russian leadership to be fruitful and productive.
Vice-Premier Rogozin, who had paid a one-day visit to New Delhi on December 8, said that Russia and India were determined to continue cooperation in the peaceful use of atom.
Russian-Indian cooperation in the peaceful use of atom is moving in the right direction, Rogozin said in a TASS interview.
Russia is building the Kudankulam nuclear power plant in India under the 1988 inter-governmental agreement and the 1998 addition to it. The station's first nuclear power unit is the most powerful and "safest. It meets all modern safety standards. The unit was included in India's national energy grid in 2013 and handed over to the annual period of guarantee maintenance ending in late 2015. Pre-starting works are under way at the second nuclear power unit.
Russia and India signed the master framework agreement for the construction of the second stage (the third and fourth power units) of the Kudankulam NPP in 2014. In December the same year, the sides signed documents allowing the construction to begin.
In December 2014, Moscow and New Delhi signed a document on strategic vision of serial construction of nuclear power units in India by using Russian technologies.
The document outlines plans for the construction of more than 20 nuclear power units in India; cooperation in the construction of Russia-designed NPPs in third countries as well as joint uranium extraction; the production of nuclear fuel and nuclear waste disposal.