India, Russia sign $5.43 billion missile deal, agreements on cooperation in space, agriculture, nuclear sectors

“Our relations go beyond military hardware and military exchanges. We paid attention to humanitarian response mechanisms,” says Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in Delhi on Thursday for the annual India-Russia Business Summit.

On Friday, India and Russia signed a $5.43 billion (about ₹39,000 crore) deal for five S-400 missile systems and eight other agreements.

U.S. non-committal on CAATSA waiver

The U.S. Embassy in New Delhi remained non-committal on if India would get a waiver from sanctions following the signing of the S-400 missile deal with Russia. An embassy spokesperson said in a statement that the intent of CAATSA (Countering America’s Adversaries through Sanctions Act) was to impose costs on Russia for its “malign behaviour” and it was “not intended to impose damage to the military capabilities of our allies or partners.”

“The waiver authority is not for a blanket waiver. It is transaction-specific. There are strict criteria for considering a waiver. Waivers of CAATSA section 231 will be considered on a transaction-by-transaction basis. We cannot prejudge any sanctions decisions,” the spokesperson said.

The Press Information Bureau (PIB) releases details of the Memorandum of Cooperation signed between the Indian Railways and the Government of Russia Federation.

“A Memorandum of Cooperation was signed between the Ministry of Railways of the Republic of India and the Joint Stock Company ‘Russian Railways’ on the sidelines of India-Russia Summit on 5 October, 2018. The MoC intends to carry forward the activities taken up under the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the two countries on 24 December, 2015,”  it reads.

The Memorandum of cooperation includes:

  • Implementation of speed up gradation project of Nagpur-Secunderabad section;
  • Setting up of single traffic control centre for managing mixed traffic at local level;
  • Best practices in freight cargo operation;
  • Development of multi modal terminals;
  • Exchange of best technologies being practiced by the two countries;
  • Training and advanced qualification improvement of Indian railway employees with the involvement of Russian railway-related higher education establishments.

In addition, the Railway Ministry also signed an MoU with the Ministry of Transport of Russian Federation for “for development of cooperation in transport education.”

“The MoU aims at providing organizational and methodological support to higher educational institutions implementing joint projects in the field of transport education of both countries. It also envisages cooperation between Russian University of Transport and the National Rail Transportation Institute, Vadodara to jointly organize educational transport seminars, including participation in shaping their themes, facilitating the search for partners, organizing mutual visits and preparation of methodical and regulatory documents,”  the PIB statement says.

“India-Russia trade rises 20 pc in 2017-18,” says Prime Minister Narendra Modi. India most open economy in respect to FDI, he adds.

“We want Russia to open a dedicated defence industrial park,” he observes.

“To facilitate Russian investments in India, we have launched Russia Plus; business between the two countries is going to grow from here,” says Mr. Modi. “Today India is [the] world’s fastest growing economy; we are moving fast towards becoming 5th largest economy from current 6th. New inventions like artificial intelligence, internet of things, 3D printing, robotics etc are taking India towards Industry 4.0; India is also working towards next-generation infrastructure,” he says.

Goal of $30 billion bilateral trade by 2025, says Putin

“We discussed trade and investment and broadening this is important. We have set a goal of $30 billion bilateral trade by 2025,” says Mr. Putin. He would like to invite Mr. Modi to Vladivostok for a business summit in September 2019.

“Mr. Modi and I discussed energy cooperation and agreements on oil, LNG supply are excepted. We also invite Indian investment into Russian energy concerns,” he says.

“Kudankulam [reactors] 5 & 6 will be constructed next and we plan to build 12 reactors in India in next few years,” he says.

Russia will assist in training an Indian cosmonaut into space, he notes.

“Our relations go beyond military hardware and military exchanges. We paid attention to humanitarian response mechanisms,” he points out.

The President also talks about tourism: “In 2017 Russia recieved 94000 Indian tourists and sent 220,000 tourists to India,” he says.

“India and Russia have agreed to step up our international cooperation. I have informed PM Modi on situation in Syria and impact of US unilateral decision to withdraw from JCPOA with Iran,”  he states.

Modi sees new direction to Indo-Russia strategic partnership

Mr. Modi says:

“I have fresh memories of meeting President Putin in Sochi. India gives top priority to ties with Russia. In a changing world these ties are even more important.

“Russia has always stood by India’s development. Today Russia is supporting our Gaganyaan programme to put a human in space. Russia and India agree on multipolarity and multilateralism in the world.

“Talks with President Putin have given new direction to Indo-Russia strategic partnership.”

India signs $5.43 billion S-400 missile deal with Russia

India and Russia signed a $5.43 billion deal for five S-400 missile systems on Friday during a summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The U.S. has warned that the deals could attract sanctions under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) law that restricts defence purchases from Russia, Iran and North Korea.

The eight other agreements that were signed are :

1. Protocol for Foreign Min consultations

2. Economic development MoU

3. MoU on space cooperation

4. MoU on Railway cooperation

5. Action plan on steps ahead in cooperation in nuclear field

6. MoU on transport

7. MoU on cooperation in Micro and SMEs trade cooperation

8. Cooperation on fertiliser cooperation

All eyes on U.S. reaction

India has hoped that the U.S. administration will give it a “sanctions waiver” if it signs the S-400 deal with Russia , but U.S. officials have given no clear signal they will. Last month, the Trump administration imposed sanctions on China as it started taking delivery of Su-35 fighter jets and S-400 systems.

Indian officials had made it clear they are going ahead with the deal, after a Kremlin spokesperson in Moscow announced the signing of the deal on Monday. Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has cut short her visit to Central Asia, reportedly to return to Delhi in time for the signing of the deal.

Source: The Hindu

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