New Delhi: PM Narendra Modi will be in the far eastern Russian city of Vladivostok from Wednesday for a 36-hour visit in which he will participate at the Eastern Economic Forum as one of the chief guest and the 20th annual India Russia summit that alternates between both the countries.
In his statement before flying out, PM Modi said India and Russia 'enjoy excellent relations, based on the strong foundation of our special and Privileged Strategic Partnership' and the 'strong partnership is complemented by a desire to promote a multipolar world and the two countries closely cooperate towards this end in regional and multilateral fora."
On the first day, he along with President of Russia Vladimir Putin will visit 'Zvezda' Shipbuilding Plant which makes vessels including icebreakers and oil tankers and 'Street of the Far East' exhibition. The first day will also see the annual India-Russia summit with both leaders holding bilateral talks. "I look forward to discussing with my friend President Putin the entire gamut of our bilateral partnership as well as regional and international issues of mutual interest," PM Modi said.
On the second day, PM Modi will speak at the plenary of the Eastern Economic Forum and also, along with Putin, go to judo championship. A six-member Indian team is in Vladivostok to take part in the championship.
India believes its engagement with Russia in the far east will help its Indo-Pacific engagement and can help with the shortage of manpower in that part of Russia. With the opening of the northern sea route and arctic becoming the focus, New Delhi's presence in the region will meet its energy need.
A fiver-year road map (2019-2024) will be announced on hydrocarbon cooperation, both in term of purchase and exploration. COAL India and Steel Authority of India are will sign MoUs with there Russian counterparts for export of coking coal and cooperation in the mining sector.
Asked if Kamov Ka-226 or Ka 226 T - Russian utility helicopter - contract will be signed, Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said in a briefing, "As far as I am aware, there will be no announcement regarding any specific agreements that have been reached."
An India Russia business dialogue will take place and for this, a 50 member delegation from FICCI is in the Russian city. 8 to 10 business MoUs will be signed during PM's visit. The previous editions of Eastern Economic Forum, which was started in 2015, saw high-level political representations by India.
Russia was the first of the five permanent United Nations Security Council members to back New Delhi on the removal of special status for the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir.