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India-Russia: Modi-Putin talks to focus on space, connectivity, defense and nuclear cooperation

Huma Siddiqui

Expanding existing civil nuclear cooperation, infrastructure and connectivity, defense, trade, hydrocarbons and space cooperation will be the focus areas during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to attend the annual Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) in Vladivostok, Russia. Close to 20 agreements in various sectors are expected to ink at the end of meetings between the two leaders in various sectors in an effort to increase and deepen the bilateral relations between the two countries.

During the two day visit from September 4-5, he will hold the 20th annual bilateral summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, where topping the agenda besides space and defense cooperation, leaders of both countries will review the progress made on the International North-South Transport Corridor and the implementation of JSC RZhD's project of building the high-speed railway lines between Nagpur and Secunderabad.

International North-South Transport Corridor

The 7,200 Km International North-South International Corridor is expected to connect India, Iran, and Russia through road, rail and sea route. From land route and sea route through Mumbai ports will take the goods to Iran’s Chabahar Port, then through land routes in Central Asia and Russia.

India and Russia are making efforts to secure freight volumes, upgrade and improve the transport and logistics services provided. Also, efforts are on to digitalize the documentation by introducing new technologies and satellite navigation into the transportation process.

Space Cooperation

As has been reported earlier, the Roscosmos State Corporation and the Indian Space Research Organisation are seeking deeper cooperation in this sector and the two are expected to focus on manufacturing rockets and spacecraft. Besides planetary exploration and manned flights, the two agencies are looking to cooperate on the exploration and use of outer space.

Energy & Hydrocarbon

When the two leaders meet for a bilateral summit, further discussions will take place for expanding cooperation in the energy sector. Presently, there is an agreement between Gazprom and GAIL India for Liquefied natural gas (LNG).

JSC Rosneft Oil Company is already working with Indian partners to implement the Vankorneft, Taas-Yuryakh Neftegazodobycha and other projects in oil refinery and extraction.

Both countries are likely to ink agreements for cooperation in geological exploration and joint development of oil and gas fields in India and Russia.

Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU)

The two leaders will discuss further establishing a free trade zone between India and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU). This five-nation grouping formed in 2015 has Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Armenia, and Belarus as its members.

Talks between the member countries have already concluded and once finalized and inked, it will enhance the economic ties between India and the Eurasian region.