PM leaves for Moscow on Sunday to meet Putin

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New Delhi, Nov 8 (UNI) Traditional ties between India and Russia in diverse fields, including defence, energy and space, are likely to gain further impetus when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh pays a two-day visit to Moscow from November 11 to hold an annual summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

External Affairs Ministry officials are attaching great significance to the visit, coming as it does when the Indo-US nuclear deal has hit a roadblock, thanks to the vehement opposition to the pact by the Left parties, key supporters of the UPA Government at the Centre.

The Prime Minister is expected to assure the Russian leadership that his government would in no way be found wanting in meeting its international commitments.

The sources said a number of agreements were expected to be signed during the course of the visit. However, they refused to give details of these accords.

According to the itinerary worked out for the visit, the Prime Minister would on Sunday evening reach Moscow, which is already in the grip of an intense winter. Soon after his arrival, Indian Ambassador to Russia Prabhat Shukla will host a reception in honour of Dr Singh, to be attended by members of the Indian community in Moscow.

On Monday, the Prime Minister will lay a wreath at the ''Unknown Soldiers'' memorial before meeting his Russian counterpart.

This will be followed by his meeting with President Putin and then delegation-level talks.

After the signing of agreements between the two sides, Dr Singh and President Putin will hold a joint press conference. The Russian leader is also hosting a banquet in honour of the Indian Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister will also address a business meet before flying out of the Russian capital on Monday night. He is expected to reach New Delhi early Tuesday morning.

UNI

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