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Putin to arrive today, key pacts on the cards

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New Delhi, Oct 4: Russian President Vladimir Putin will arrive in New Delhi on Thursday (October 4) on a two-day India visit during which both countries will hold discussions on key bilateral issue besides signing the much anticipated S-400 air defence systems deal.

Putin will take part in the 19th India-Russia annual bilateral summit. During the summit, Putin and Prime Minister Narendra Modi are expected to review bilateral defence cooperation.

Russian President Vladimir Putin

The main focus of the visit will be the signing of the USD 5 billion worth deal to purchase S-400 Triumf air defence missile systems from Russia which will significantly bolster India's defence capabilities. S-400 Triumf is one of the world's most advanced air defence systems that can simultaneously track numerous incoming objects - all kinds of aircraft, missiles and UAVs - in a radius of a few hundred kilometres and launch appropriate missiles to neutralise them. The S-400 Triumph air defence system integrates a multifunction radar, autonomous detection and targeting systems, anti-aircraft missile systems, launchers, and command and control centre.

Also Read | India-Russia S-400 trade: Why Vladimir Putin's visit this week is too important

The S-400 missile deal is a contentious deal as the United States is opposed to it. The US has imposed military sanctions against Russia under stringent CAATSA (Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act). This also extends to countries that engage with Russia in defence matters. US' stand effectively means that any country that engages in defence or intelligence sharing with Russia could also be subject to sanctions.

On one hand, India wants these missiles to strengthen defence capabilities, but at the same time does not want to sour relations with the US. India would hope that the Trump administration grants the exemption to India under CAATSA.

Also Read | S-400 deal: Can India wriggle out of looming CAATSA sanctions?

Other key issues on the agenda:

India and Russia are likely to sign a $2.5 billion deal for four more Krivak/Talwar class stealth frigates for the navy on Friday when Prime Minister Modi and President Putin meet for the annual India-Russia summit.

Two of the warships will be constructed at the Yantar Shipyard in Kaliningrad and the remaining two at the Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL).

Also Read | Putin also to meet talented children and address a business submit during his India visit

Modi and Putin are also expected to explore ways to further deepen cooperation between the two countries in a number of sectors including trade, investment, connectivity, energy, space and tourism.

Modi and Putin are also expected to deliberate on impact of US sanctions on import of crude oil from Iran.

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

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