Modi, Putin ink 3 mega defence deals

0
94

India to buy S-400 air defence system from Moscow; Other agreements include missile sales, joint venture for helicopters

Benaulim (Goa)—India on Saturday inked three mega defence deals with Russia that included purchase of a most advanced air defence missile system as part of 16 pacts even as the two traditional allies strongly pitched for “zero tolerance” in dealing with terrorists.
The bilateral pacts were signed here after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin held “fruitful and substantive” wide-ranging talks encompassing entire gamut of bilateral ties. The two sides also made three announcements to boost ties in sectors like trade and investment, hydrocarbons, space and smart cities.
Modi prefaced his remarks at a joint press event with Putin invoking a Russian proverb to drive home the point that “an old friend is better than two new friends,” in a reflection of India’s apparent unhappiness over Russia’s recent joint military exercise with Pakistan.
Besides the purchase of ‘gamechanger’ S-400 Triumf long- range air defence systems from Russia at a cost of over USD 5 billion, the other two deals related to procuring four Admiral Grigorovich-class (Project 11356) guided-missile stealth frigates and setting up of a joint production facility for making Kamov helicopters.
The inking of these deals assumes significance since in in the recent past it was perceived that India, which had signed Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) with the US providing access to Americans to Indian military bases, was drifting away from Russia. “Russia’s clear stand on the need to combat terrorism mirrors our own. We deeply appreciate Russia’s understanding and support of our actions to fight cross-border terrorism, that threatens our entire region. We are satisfied that Russia understands India’s interest and they will never do anything contrary to India’s interest and I think there was a strong meeting of minds on this subject,” Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar said when asked about the Russian response to India’s concern over the recent Pak-Russia joint military exercise.
Modi said the “highly productive” outcomes of the meeting clearly establish the special and privileged nature of strategic partnership between the two countries.
“They also lay the foundations for deeper defence and economic ties in years ahead. The agreements on manufacturing of Kamov 226T helicopters; constructions of frigates; and acquisition and building of other defence platforms are in synergy with India’s technology and security priorities.”
In a game-changing arms acquisition , India on Saturday announced that it will buy the S-400 ‘Triumf’ air defence systems from Russia, worth over $5 billion, and collaborate in making four state of art frigates besides setting up a joint production facility for making Kamov helicopters. Putin, on his part, said both countries have close cooperation in fighting terrorism. “I would like to stress that we intend to expand our bilateral cooperation not only in energy but also across a wide range of areas,” Putin said. Modi said the “highly productive” outcomes of the meeting clearly establish the special and privileged nature of strategic partnership between the two countries.
“They also lay the foundations for deeper defence and economic ties in years ahead. The agreements on manufacturing of Kamov 226T helicopters; constructions of frigates; and acquisition and building of other defence platforms are in synergy with India’s technology and security priorities,” he said.— TNN/Agencies