Vladimir Putin calls India ‘privileged strategic partner’ to Russia



SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday the country remains the top supplier of advanced weapons and defense technology thanks to its “privileged strategic partner” India and added that Moscow and other BRICS nations were determined to back New Delhi’s fight against terror.

“Russia remains in the lead in terms of both direct supplies of most advanced weapons and military equipment and conducting joint researches with India as well as producing goods for military purposes. Our countries actively collaborate in the military technical field,” Putin said.

Putin underlined the Russian-Indian partnership partnership in the development of the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile and building of a new fifth-generation fighter aircraft as “the successful joint projects” of the two countries.

Putin, who will be in Goa for for the five-nation BRICS Summit this weekend, said many of the Russian projects in India not only have commercial importance but also play a significant social and economic role for the economies of the two partners.

The projects, he said, “harmoniously fit in the new Indian industrialization program,” a reference to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Make in India” initiative.

“Russian companies see real prospects and high attractiveness of the Indian market,” Putin said.

In terms of economic development, Putin said India remains “Russia’s major foreign trade partner” despite trade between the two countries dropping by 7.8 percent last year. “We are resolved to overcome the negative trend, which, in our opinion, is largely associated with volatility on the global markets and in exchange rates,” he said.

The two-day summit in Goa begins Oct. 15. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to hold a bilateral meeting with Putin on the sidelines.

“For our five countries’ leaders this meeting (in Goa) will be a good opportunity to harmonize our positions on key issues on the international agenda. We are determined to cooperate in the fight against terrorism, drug trafficking and corruption,” Putin said.

Modi is likely to raise the issue of Pakistan-sponsored terrorism with the Russian president.

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