New Delhi: Close on the heels of first informal summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Wuhan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is all set to hold a similar dialogue with Russian President Vladimir Putin in southern Russian resort city of Sochi on May 21.
The two leaders are also scheduled to meet at the upcoming SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organisation) summit meeting in Qingdao in China in early June and for a formal structured annual bilateral dialogue in Delhi later.
“This will be an important occasion for the two leaders to exchange views on international matters in a broad and long-term perspective with the objective of further strengthening our Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership,” said the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) formal statement.
This announcement follows the May 10 visit of National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale to Moscow, where they met Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and other senior officials, including Secretary of the Russian Security Council, Nikolai Patrushev.
The informal summit is significant given the upcoming US sanctions not just against Russia under the Countering America’s Adversaries through Sanctions Act, but also Iran following President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the nuclear accord with Tehran. This could impact India’s acquisition of defence spares as well as other defence deals in the pipeline, like the S 400 anti-missile system.