PM Modi’s informal summit in Russia: It’s rare to see an international leader welcoming another on the latter’s arrival. It’s even more rare to see the international leader bidding goodbye to the other at the airport. But that’s precisely what Russian President Vladimir Putin did. In a departure from tradition, Putin accompanied Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the airport and warmly hugged him before the Indian PM boarded his plane home. The two leaders greeted the dignitaries and senior officials at the airport and were also seen wishing each other. Putin only left the airport after Modi had entered the aircraft. This new gesture surely strengthens the already strong bond between the two leaders.
This warm send-off, experts hope, indicates how Prime Minister Modi has been able to balance his relations with Russia. Prime Minister Narendra Modi who was in the city of Sochi, on the coast of Black Sea in Western Russia to hold an informal meet, not only bolstered trade and defence relations between the two nations but also strengthened cultural ties. The informal meet that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Vladimir Putin held, aimed at bringing balance between the bilateral relations between India Russia.
Watch: President Putin bids farewell to Prime Minister Modi at Sochi airport
The spirit of the India-Russia relations could be clearly seen in the way Russia welcomed Prime Minister Modi and treated him with such great hospitality. Prime Minister Modi was also seen enjoying a boat ride in the Black Sea in President Putin’s personal yacht. Prime Minister Modi also visited the Moya Russia-Ethno centre with President Vladimir Putin. President Putin showed him around the place, where Prime Minister Modi saw ancient artefacts crafted by Russian artisans. He also held talks with the local artisan community. Prime Minister Modi addressing the students at Sirius educational centre at Sochi, welcomed them to visit India and was also seen giving autographs to children at the education centre.
However, the two leaders discussed a range of bilateral and international issues. The highlight of the meet was the discussion on defence cooperation. India has assured Russia that CAATSA (Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act) by the United States would not be a problem for their defence deals. The two leaders also extensively discussed on way to combat the growing menace of terrorism. They strongly condemned extremism and radicalisation of all kinds. They also agreed to completely remove terror, funding activities and systems that support it. Apart from defence cooperation, Prime Minister Modi and President Putin also held talks on trade. The two leaders agreed that the opportunities for investment and trade between India and Russia are immense. They also noted with satisfaction the expanding cooperation in energy sector and welcomed the arrival of the first consignment of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) under a long-term agreement between Gazprom, Russian gas company and GAIL, India’s state-run gas utility company.