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Delivery of S-400 surface-to-air missile high on agenda as Modi meets Putin tomorrow

| Updated: Oct 15, 2016 01:54 IST

Panaji (Goa) [India], Oct. 14 (ANI): Delivery of advanced S-400 surface-to-air missile systems to New Delhi and counterterrorism will be high on the agenda when Prime Minister Narendra Modi meets President Vladimir Putin for the 17th India-Russia Annual Summit in Goa on Saturday. Besides, both nations are set to sign several agreements to give a fillip to their defence and nuclear cooperation. Apart from these, energy, infrastructure, railways, agriculture, hi-tech among others will also dominate the agenda. Agreements to build frigates for the Indian Navy and a joint venture in India to build multi-task Kamov-226 helicopters are also likely to be signed. Briefing the media here on Friday, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Vikas Swarup said: "We will have the exchange of agreements followed by laying foundation of concrete of Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant units three and four of the 1,000-megawatts, followed by press statement by the Prime Minister of India and the President of Russia." The 17th India-Russia Annual Summit will take place alongside the BRICS summit in Goa, where Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa are participating. Joining Swarup at the media briefing, Ambassador of India to the Russian Federation, Pankaj Saran said, "Russia attaches very high degree of importance to the Summit. Traditionally, the bilateral summit is held every year, alternately in India and Russia. As this year India is President of BRICS, the two sides agreed to coincide the annual summit with the BRICS Summit. Therefore, tomorrow (Saturday) morning, the bilateral summit will take place and will be the 17th Summit between the two countries, which means that President Putin has met Indian Prime Ministers 17 times since 2000. This speaks for itself in terms of the intensity of high-level political engagement between Russia and India." Describing the India-Russia engagement as "crosscutting, very deep and very intense, Saran said it is poised to grow even further. "Historically, over the decades, our relationship with Russia has strengthened, deepened and widened. Today, it is very legitimate to talk about a comprehensive relationship - in fact, it is more than a relationship, it is a partnership and very justifiably it is been described by the two leaders as both 'special and privileged' as well as 'strategic'." "With every summit we have seen progress being made in new and existing areas and I am fully confident that the meeting between the two leaders tomorrow (Saturday) will be a very important and significant milestone in the relationship and the menu is vast and a lot of hard work has gone into preparing summit meetings, and as far as India is concerned, the relationship with Russia is among the most important relationships that India has with any country in the world. It is based on mutual trust, mutual understanding, mutual respect, and it encompasses every field of activity that we can think of," Saran added. Divulging detail of tomorrow's engagement between Prime Minister Modi and President Putin, Swarup said the Russian President would arrives at 1a.m tonight (Friday) that is early morning of October 15. "From 11a.m-12 noon, there will be restricted talks between the two delegations, while from 12 noon- 1p.m., there will be full delegation level talks. At 1.05 pm, there will be exchange of agreements, followed by the witnessing of the laying of the foundation concrete of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant Units 3 and 4, followed by press statements by the Prime Minister of India and the President of Russia," Swarup added. (ANI)