New Delhi [India], Oct 5 (ANI): Taking forward the Defence cooperation to a new height, India and Russia on Friday signed the much-awaited agreement for the purchase of five S-400 Triumph air defence missile systems. The deal was signed on the sidelines of the 19th India-Russia Annual Bilateral Summit led by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The USD 5.43 billion deal for the high-end missiles comes despite warnings from the United States of America (US) that has started sanctioning countries and entities under CAATSA (Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act) for engaging in Defence and intelligence sectors with Russia.
"The two sides welcomed the conclusion of the contract for the supply of the S-400 Long Range Surface to Air Missile System to India," India and Russia said in joint statement released after the talks. The two sides also reaffirmed their commitment to enhance military technical cooperation "which has a long history of mutual trust and mutual benefit."
The two sides also signed a civil nuclear agreement that will pave way for new nuclear power projects of Russian design in India, and collaboration in third countries. In total India and Russia signed eight agreements that ranged from space cooperation to nuclear and transport sector. Russia expressed its support for India's membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group.
The Triumph missile deal comes amid US threat of sanctioning countries under CAATSA for their Defence purchases with Russia. US had recently sanctioned China's Equipment Development Department (EDD) for purchasing Russian Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets and the same S-400 missiles that India is purchasing, triggering a diplomatic confrontation between China and the US.
However, India is hoping to get a waiver from the US on the grounds that it needs the missiles for its self defence keeping in view the fragile security situation in the South Asian region. Besides, India has cited its long standing Defence partnership with Russia and that the decision for S-400 purchase was taken several months before CAATSA was enacted. National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval had conveyed India's concerns to the US prior to their 2+2 Dialogue besides diplomatic efforts were made to engage with the US lawmakers.
In his media statement after the talks, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that India gives priority to its relations with Russia. "Russia has always been a part of India's growth story. Our countries have mutual benefits in supporting struggle against terrorism, Afghanistan and Indo-Pacific events, climate change at organisations like SCO, BRICS, G20 and ASEAN. We have agreed to continue cooperation with these international organisations," Prime Minister Modi said.
While saying Russia is committed to deepening ties with India, President Putin invited Indian energy companies to expand business in Russia. President Putin also invited Prime Minister Modi to Vladivostok as the main guest of the Economic Forum in September 2019. Talking about cooperation on counter terrorism, President Putin mentioned joint military exercises and other areas of cooperation between the two countries. The two leaders also discussed regional issues and terrorism.
"I have informed the Prime Minister (Modi) about the situation in Syria. We have also discussed the situation that came as a result of action of US to withdraw from Iran deal," President Putin said while addressing the media after the talks.
The two sides have agreed to pay special attention to the issues of security and stability, including combating terrorism, illegal drug-trafficking and organised crime, thereby, increasing effectiveness of cooperation within the SCO Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure.
- Protocol for Consultations between the India and Russian ministries of Foreign Affairs for the period 2019-2023
- MoU between the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation and the National Institution for Transforming India (NITI Aayog)
- MoU between Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the Federal Space Agency of Russia 'ROSCOSMOS' on Joint Activities in the field of Human Spaceflight Programme
- Memorandum of Cooperation between the Indian and Russian Railways
- Action Plan for Prioritisation and Implementation of Cooperation Areas in the Nuclear Field
- MoU between the Russian Ministry of Transport and Indian Railways in the Development Cooperation in Transport Education
- MoU between National Small Industries Corporation (NSIC) of India and the Russian Small and Medium Business Corporation (RSMB), on Cooperation in the field of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises.
- Cooperation Agreement in the Fertilizers Sector between the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), PJSC Phosagro (PhosAgro) and Indian Potash Limited (IPL).