Russian President Vladimir Putin
Russian President Vladimir Putin will visit India on December 6 to hold annual summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi during which they will review the status of bilateral ties and discuss regional, multilateral and international issues of mutual interest, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said on Friday.
The MEA also announced that the first '2+2' foreign and defence ministerial dialogue between India and Russia will be held in here on December 6 as well.
The Modi-Putin summit is expected to produce specific outcomes in further expanding ties in areas of defence, trade and energy, officials said.
It is learnt that the two sides are going to firm up a number of agreements in the areas of defence, trade and investment, and science and technology at the summit.
"President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin will pay an official visit to New Delhi on December 6 for the 21st India-Russia annual summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi," MEA Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said at a media briefing.
It will be the first in-person meeting between the two leaders after their talks on the sidelines of the BRICS summit in Brasilia in November 2019.
There have been six telephonic conversations between the two leaders since November 2019, to date apart from virtual meetings for multilateral summits.
The last India-Russia annual summit was held in September 2019 during the visit of Modi to Vladivostok.
The annual summit could not take place last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"The leaders will review the state and prospects of bilateral relations and discuss ways to further strengthen the strategic partnership between the two countries," Bagchi said.
"The summit will also afford an opportunity to exchange views on regional, multilateral and international issues of mutual interest," he said.
He said the visit will provide further impetus to the India-Russia special and privileged strategic partnership.
On the '2+2' dialogue, Bagchi said Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Defence Minister Sergey Shoigu will be visiting India from December 5 to 6.
"The 2+2 Dialogue is being held pursuant to the agreement reached between Prime Minister Modi and Russian President Putin during their telephonic conversation on 28 April. The agenda for the dialogue will cover political and defence issues of mutual interest," he said.
Lavrov and Shoigu will hold the talks with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.
"The establishment of a new mechanism of 2+2 dialogue is expected to further strengthen the strategic partnership between the two countries," Bagchi said.
So far India has the '2+2' ministerial format of dialogue with the US, Japan and Australia.
A framework for military-technical cooperation is set to be renewed for the next decade at the summit besides announcing a joint commission on technology and science.
India and Russia have also reached the final phase of negotiation for a logistics support agreement and it is likely to be signed either during the two-plus-two talks or at the summit.
The pact will allow militaries of the two countries to use each other's bases for repair and replenishment of supplies, besides facilitating scaling up of overall defence cooperation.
Russia has been a time-tested partner for India and the country has been a key pillar of New Delhi's foreign policy.