Vladimir Putin likely to visit India next monthSep 15,2018 SOURCE: THE HINDU
Russian President Vladimir Putin is expected to visit India in early October, an official source said on Friday.The visit of the Russian leader was discussed during the Moscow trip of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Friday where she held talks with the newly appointed Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov. Mr. Putin’s visit is expected to lead to major bilateral deals. However, final details of the visit are still being worked upon. E-visas welcomed Ms. Swaraj also thanked Russia for helping Indian travellers with easier visa procedures. “Both our countries are working towards ease of acquiring visa. I welcome Russia’s decision to introduce electronic visas for Indians who are willing to travel to the far eastern parts of Russia,” Ms. Swaraj said during the 23rd edition of IRIGC-TEC (India Russia Inter-Governmental Commission). Earlier Ms. Swaraj was welcomed to the Russian capital by her counterpart Sergey Lavrov. It was the first meeting between Ms. Swaraj and the senior Russian Minister following the 2+2 dialogue between India and the United States that was conducted by Ms. Swaraj and her U.S. counterpart Mike Pompeo. India’s planned purchase of the S400 missile system had formed the backdrop of the 2+2 dialogue. Government sources had indicated that the missile system did not come up for discussion with the U.S. officials and there was an understanding that India-U.S. relations would not be affected by India’s ties with Russia. Neither India nor Russia has specified if the defensive missile system was discussed between the two sides on Friday, but significantly the Russian side to the IRIGC-TEC was led by Yuri Borisov who is also in charge of defence-related issues with India. “We have identified new areas of cooperation that include agriculture, science, infrastructure and technology. We would like to extend our cooperation in the field of outer space,” she said. The 23rd IRIGC-TEC is significant as it comes just ahead of the crucial November deadline imposed on India by the U.S. to ‘zero out’ energy supply from Iran. Ms. Swaraj indicated that energy supply from Russia to India has increased in recent months.