Vladimir Putin and Narendra Modi
Vladimir Putin's visit to India last December has
already been called a historic milestone in the development of special friendly
relations between Russia and India, two undoubtedly great countries. In
addition, the two countries signed a package of documents before the Russian
President’s meeting with the Prime Minister of India. They include an
intergovernmental agreement on technology protection due to cooperation in space
research and the use of outer space for peaceful purposes, and on building and
operating launch vehicles and ground-based space infrastructure; an
intergovernmental agreement on the Military-Technical Cooperation Programme for
2021–2031; as well as a protocol amending the intergovernmental agreement on
cooperation in manufacturing Kalashnikov series small arms of February 18, 2019.
The expanded format meeting between the two delegations was followed by a
face-to-face conversation over a working lunch. Following the summit, a Joint
Statement Russia – India: Partnership for Peace, Progress and Prosperity was
The Indian army, the second largest army in the world, is switching to new
Kalashnikov assault rifles, and the skies over India will now be protected by
Russian S-400 systems. The first shipment of anti-aircraft missile systems to
India coincides with Vladimir Putin's visit to New Delhi today, but defense
cooperation is not the only element of Russian-Indian relations.
At his meeting with Prime Minister Modi they discussed the training of the
second Indian cosmonaut in history, the construction of a nuclear power plant,
cooperation in the manufacture of medicines and new ships. All of this will help
triple trade turnover in the coming years.
A foreign visit, a meeting of leaders is always an event, and given all the
current covidual restrictions, an exceptional event. From the airport, the
Russian president's Aurus heads straight to the heart of New Delhi - the
Here we see Vladimir Putin's motorcade pulling up to the Hyderabad Palace. Prime
Minister Narendra Modi is already waiting for him on the porch. This is the
first meeting in two years.
The Indian prime minister is wearing a kurta, the traditional wool vest. The
leaders greet each other and walk out together to a specially prepared spot on
the palace lawn so that the handshake can be captured by all from the best
The focus of the leaders is to further develop a mutually beneficial
partnership. The pandemic hit the trade turnover, but now instead of recession,
the growth is 38%, and in the first 9 months the figure is almost 9 billion
dollars. The goal is to bring the volume of trade to 30 billion in the near
The Central Bank of Russia and the Reserve Bank of India signed a cooperation
agreement to fight cyber-attacks. Also, relevant agencies signed a number of
agreements in the sphere of education and memoranda of cooperation on
intellectual property and on geological exploration and prospecting.
The documents signed included a roadmap for cooperation in science, technology
and innovation; a programme of cultural exchanges for 2021–2024; a protocol on
the organisation of culture festivals between the Russian Federation and the
Republic of India in 2022–2023; as well as documents amending the
intergovernmental agreement on merchant shipping of December 23, 1994, and
concerning Russian oil supplies in 2022.
Vladimir Putin held talks with Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi in New
Delhi. At the beginning of Russian-Indian talks Prime Minister of India Narendra
Modi said: ‘Your Excellency, my dear friend, President of the Russian Federation
Vladimir Putin, I would like to welcome you to the annual bilateral summit in
New Delhi. I would also like to welcome all members of the Russian Federation
I know that this is only your second visit abroad for almost two years. This
shows your personal commitment to our relations. You are visiting India despite
all the pandemic difficulties and this shows your love of India.
Despite the pandemic-related complications, the development of bilateral
India-Russia relations has not slowed. We continue strengthening our specially
privileged strategic partnership.
We have maintained close cooperation in countering COVID-19, be it during
testing vaccine production, providing humanitarian aid or helping people return
home in a difficult time.
Your Excellency, 2021 is an important year for bilateral relations for various
reasons: this year we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 1971 Treaty of
Peace, Friendship and Cooperation between India and the Soviet Union and two
decades of strategic partnership. This is why I am so pleased to meet you in
this special year because you have stood behind our strategic partnership over
the past 20 years.
Many fundamental changes have taken place in the world in the past few decades.
Various geopolitical formations have come into being, but one thing remained
immune to change – the Russia-India friendship. Our countries not only cooperate
with each other but also show special care for each other’s sensitive issues.
This is indeed a unique, trust-based model of interstate friendship.
Your Excellency, 2021 is important for our strategic partnership as well. The
first meeting of foreign ministers and defence ministers in the “2+2” format
took place today and thus launched one more mechanism to strengthen practical
We have maintained regular contact on Afghanistan and on a number of other
issues as well. The interregional side of our partnership, which goes back to
the Eastern Economic Forum and our summit in Vladivostok, has become a specific
part of cooperation between the Russian Far East and various Indian states.
In the economy, we have adopted a long-term vision to reinforce our
relationship. Our goal is to increase mutual trade to US$30 billion by 2025 and
to increase mutual investment to US$50 billion. To do so, we must issue the
proper assignments to our respective business communities.
The various agreements that were concluded today will help us expand cooperation
as well. Our defence cooperation is being strengthened through joint development
and production efforts under the Made in India programme. Cooperation in space
and civilian nuclear energy is expanding as well.
I would like to congratulate Russia on obtaining observer status in the
Non-Aligned Movement and dialogue partner status in the Indian Ocean Rim
Association. We were delighted to support Russia’s presence in these
India and Russia have similar positions on many regional and global issues. We
will have the opportunity to exchange views on these matters during today’s
Your Excellency, Once again, welcome to India. I would also like to welcome all
members of the Russian delegation. Despite your busy schedule, you made the time
to visit us, and we appreciate this. I am sure that our discussions today will
be very productive for our relations.’
President of Russia Vladimir Putin said: ‘Prime Minister, my friend. It is an
honour and a privilege for me to visit friendly India once again. We regularly
hold summits at the highest level, in fact, they take place every year, with
India and Russia taking turns in hosting them. Unfortunately, we had to skip
last year due to the pandemic. Still, it is our turn to come to India, and I
thank you for your invitation.
Russia views India as a major power, whose people have been very friendly to us.
Our relations proceed from a very positive foundation. They are developing and
In 2020, trade between our countries decreased by more than 17 percent, but in
the first nine months of 2021 it grew by over 38 percent. There is no doubt that
we have every opportunity to reach the trade volumes you have mentioned.
This also applies to investment, which currently stands at US$38 billion and is
more or less equally distributed between the two countries, with Russia having a
slightly larger share. That said, we have been working together in very
important and promising areas, including energy, high technology, and space. I
am certain that the programmes you have mentioned will be carried out, including
the one to train an Indian cosmonaut.
We have been promoting military-technical cooperation like with no other partner
of ours. Together, we develop and manufacture high-technology military products,
including in India.
There is another essential item on our agenda, which is of interest for both
India and Russia. I am referring to taking care of the environment. Our minds
are set on this topic, the green agenda, as well as on the economy and ways of
developing it. Of course, we are realistic in our efforts, seeking to fulfil the
needs of our economies and improve the standard of living for our citizens on an
We remain proactively involved on the international stage. Just as you have
said, our positions coincide on many issues. Of course, terrorism and efforts to
fight it are a matter of grave concern, as are combatting drug trafficking and
In this context, the developments in Afghanistan are of course a matter of
serious concern for us. The foreign and defence ministers, who are present
today, held their first meeting in such format, demonstrating our commitment to
developing our relations in international and military affairs.
We hold joint exercises both in India and Russia. We are grateful for the
attention you have given to this aspect of our cooperation and intend to keep
moving in the same direction. Once again, thank you very much for your
Partnership for Peace, Progress and Prosperity. India-Russia Joint Statement
following the visit of the President of the Russian Federation
(selected excerpts from the document
1. At the invitation of Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi, President of
the Russian Federation H.E. Mr. Vladimir Putin paid working visit to New Delhi
on 6 December 2021 for the 21st India–Russia Annual Summit.
2. The completion of 5 decades of the 1971 Treaty of Peace, Friendship and
Cooperation and 2 decades of Declaration on Strategic Partnership is symbolic of
the long standing and time-tested India-Russia relations characterized by mutual
trust, respect for each other’s core national interests and similarity of
positions on various international and regional issues.
3. The Sides reaffirmed their commitment to the Special and Privileged Strategic
Partnership between India and Russia. They underscored that as major powers with
common responsibilities, this important relationship continues to be an anchor
of global peace and stability.
4. The Sides positively assessed the multi-faceted India-Russia relations that
span various areas of cooperation including political and strategic, economy,
energy, military and security, science and technology, culture and humanitarian
cooperation. They noted that while the traditional areas of cooperation are
being further strengthened, new drivers of growth have led to diversification
and expansion of bilateral cooperation.
5. The Leaders highly appreciated the sustained momentum in bilateral ties
despite the negative impacts of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. They acknowledged
that the Annual Summit could not be held in 2020 due to the Covid pandemic. The
Sides noted with satisfaction the continued intensification of contacts at all
levels including 6 telephonic conversations between the two leaders since the
last Summit; visits of Foreign Minister, Raksha Mantri, Minister of Petroleum
and Natural Gas and Minister of Steel from Indian side; visit of Russian Foreign
Minister and Secretary of Security Council to India; holding of Foreign Office
Consultations, India-Russia Strategic Economic Dialogue, consultations on UN
issues, Arctic, policy planning etc.
6. The Leaders welcomed the holding of back-to-back meetings of the India-Russia
Inter-Governmental Commission on Military and Military-Technical Cooperation and
the first 2+2 Dialogue of Foreign and Defence Ministers of India and Russia in
New Delhi on 6 December 2021. They underscored the importance of regular annual
2+2 meetings for exchanging views on global and regional political-security
7. The Leaders noted the ongoing interaction between the Parliaments of two
countries and underlined the importance of regular meetings of
Inter-Parliamentary Commission as a valuable component of India- Russia
8. The Leaders reiterated the importance of the security dialogue at the level
of NSA and NSCS on bilateral and regional issues and welcomed regular
interactions between them. This has served to enhance strategic understanding
and coordination between the two countries.
13. The Sides appreciated the resumption of the positive trajectory of bilateral
trade, with trade registering an increase of about 38% in the first half of 2021
compared to the same period in 2020 despite the pandemic-related restrictions.
They positively assessed the overall increase of bilateral trade in 2019–20
compared to the previous year.
14. The Sides noted that the bilateral trade does not reflect the potential of
strength and depth of India-Russia strategic partnership. The leaders stressed
on the need for greater efforts to achieve the trade target of USD 30 billion by
2025. In this regard, they placed strong emphasis on new drivers of growth
15. The Sides underscored the need for commencement of negotiations on Trade
Agreement between India and The Eurasian Economic Union.
16. The leaders noted the relevance of continued engagement under the
India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific,
Technological and Cultural Cooperation (IRIGC-TEC) for bilateral economic
cooperation in various priority areas. They acknowledged the holding of
12Working Group and Sub-group meetings under the IRIGC-TEC and instructed the
concerned officials to expeditiously conclude meetings of pending Working
Groups. The sides also welcomed the setting up of the new Working Groups and Sub
Groups on Transport, Urban Development and Railways and looked forward to the
early holding of their inaugural meetings.
Military and Military-Technical Cooperation
50. Russian side appreciated the participation of Indian Defence Minister
Rajnath Singh along with a Tri-Service contingent of the Indian armed forces in
the Victory Day Parade at Red Square in Moscow to commemorate the 75th
Anniversary of Victory of the Soviet People in the great Patriotic War of
51. Military and military-technical cooperation has traditionally been the
pillar of Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership between India and Russia.
Responding to India’s quest for self-sufficiency, the partnership is reorienting
presently to joint research and development, co-development and joint production
of advanced defence technology and systems.
52. The Sides expressed satisfaction with regular military contacts and joint
exercises of the Armed Forces of the two countries which reached unprecedented
heights this year with three exercises being held within a span of 60 days
besides simultaneous participation of large Indian contingents in the
International Army Games. The Russian side deeply appreciated participation of
INS Tabar in the 325th Russian Navy Day celebrations. The Sides agreed to
continue and expand regular defence dialogue, mutual training and exercises,
subject matter expert exchanges and other activities under the aegis of
India-Russia Intergovernmental Commission on Military and Military Technical
53. Both sides noted with satisfaction the successful implementation of the
2011–2020 Long-Term Program for Military and Technical Cooperation and welcomed
the signing of a new long-term plan for the period 2021–2031.
54. The Sides reiterated their commitment to upgrade the defence cooperation,
including facilitating joint development and production of military equipment,
components and spare parts, enhancing the after-sales service system, progress
towards mutual recognition of quality control and regular joint exercises of the
Armed Forces of the two countries. The two leaders agreed that for peace,
stability and mutual economic development, there is a need for the two countries
to work closely together in the advanced and emerging fields of defence
technology and for the Armed Forces of the two countries to work together in
niche domains of military capabilities.
55. Both Sides agreed to take forward ongoing engagements to encourage joint
manufacturing in India of spare parts, components, aggregates and other products
for maintenance of Russian origin Arms and defence equipment under Make-in-India
program through transfer of technology and setting up of joint ventures for
meeting the needs of the Indian Armed Forces as well as subsequent export to
mutually friendly third countries.
56. The Sides recognized the requirement of an institutional arrangement for
reciprocal provision of logistic support and services for the Armed Forces.
Science and Technology
57. Emphasizing the importance of joint research in science, technology and
innovation, the two Sides welcome the signing of Roadmap for Science, Technology
& Innovation Cooperation and , expressed satisfaction with respect to launching
joint calls in priority areas as states in the Roadmap.
58. The Sides expressed satisfaction on launching of India-Russia Technology
Assessment and Accelerated Commercialization Program by the Department of
Science & Technology, Govt. of India and Russian Foundation for Assistance to
Small Industrial Enterprises (FASIE), which provides opportunities to Start-ups
and SMES of the two countries to address societal challenges through innovative
59. The Sides also agreed to facilitate collaboration between government and
private sector organizations to find ways of joint development of software
products, platforms and services as well as in the area of electronics
manufacturing. The Sides confirmed their interest in further developing
cooperation in the sphere of digital technologies, including those related to
information protection, security of critical infrastructure and law enforcement.
60. Thesides noted the promotion of youth exchanges by bringing together
co-innovation programs at School level with the Support of Atal Innovation
Mission, Niti Aayog and Talent & Success Fund (SIRIUS Centre, Sochi), Russia.
These programs engaged students on both sides to generate hands-on technological
solutions for societal problems such as Distance Literacy in remote areas; Rural
Health & Well-being and Digital asset monitoring etc.
61. The Indian side congratulated the Russian side for its ongoing successful
chairmanship of the Arctic Council from 2021–23 and expressed its readiness to
play an active role as an Observer in the Arctic Council. Both sides recalled
the bilateral consultations on the Arctic held last year. The Indian side also
expressed its interest in collaborating with Russia on the Northern Sea Route.