PM Flies for Russia, Major Defense Deal Expected

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New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi leaves for Russia on Wednesday  for a two-day visit that is part of the annual summit talks with President Vladimir Putin. On the agenda – signing big defense deals, expanding economic ties and talks on terrorism.

Ahead of his visit to Russia, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday expressed confidence that his trip would deepen cooperation in the economic, energy and security spheres and substantially take forward the already strong people-to-people ties with “one of India’s most valued friend”

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In his pre-departure statement, he said trade ties between India and Russia can increase even further, to benefit not only the two nations but also the world

“Today I will commence my visit to Russia, my first bilateral visit after we formed the Government. I am very optimistic about the outcome of this visit,” Modi said.

He said he will have extensive deliberations with President Vladimir Putin and have an interaction with Russian businesspersons to invite them to invest in India. He will also attend a ‘Friends of India’ programme

“Am very optimistic about outcomes of my Russia visit. It will deepen economic & security ties with a valued friend,” Modi said

He said history is witness to the close ties India and Russia have had over the decades

“Russia remains one of India’s most valued friends in the world,” he said

He recalled that in 2001, when he had just assumed charge as Gujarat CM and had accompanied then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee to Russia. “That was, perhaps, one of the first India-Russia annual Summits, a practice that goes on till date,” Modi said

“My visit will deepen the cooperation between India and Russia in the economic, energy and security spheres. We also want to increase cooperation in science and technology, mining among other sectors,” he said

“I am certain that this visit will substantially take forward the already strong people to people ties between our nations,” the Prime Minister said.