India's acquisition of the S-400 long-range missile systems has been considered critical to countering a perceived threat from China, which is increasingly making economic inroads throughout South Asia, India's traditional sphere of influence, according to military experts.
NEW DELHI: President Vladimir Putin was expected Friday to sign a deal in India worth more than $5 billion for the S-400 air defence system, despite United States warnings of sanctions against countries buying Russian military hardware.
Officials with India's external affairs and defence ministries confirmed the deal was signed after Putin and Modi made no reference to it during a news conference following their talks. China was the first foreign buyer to seal a government-to-government deal with Russian Federation in 2014 to procure the lethal missile system. Russian Federation has been an important supplier of defence hardware to India for decades.
Besides, in the third defence deal, India will be purchasing 200 light utility Ka-226 helicopters for $1 billion (Rs 737.85 crore at current price).
Earlier in the week, US President Donald Trump had taken a jibe at India saying New Delhi wants to please him by having a trade deal with America.
He will also interact with a group of talented children and address an India-Russia business meet. Russia, and other countries, recently have been trying to reduce the use of US dollars in their economies and as a transaction tool.
Over the past two years, India and the United States have signed two defense pacts that allow the use of each other's military bases for repairs and replenishment of supplies, and allow India to purchase advanced American military communications technology.
He arrived in New Delhi on Thursday.
"India gives top priority to its relations with Russian Federation".
The eight agreements that were signed on Friday spanned diverse areas ranging from space and nuclear cooperation to railways and agriculture.
Ahead of his meeting, Modi tweeted, "Welcome to India, President Putin".
India and China had a stand-off over a Himalayan plateau a year ago after it was claimed by both Beijing and Indian ally Bhutan.
In Washington, a State Department Spokesperson had said on Wednesday "We urge all of our allies and partners to forgo transactions with Russian Federation that would trigger sanctions under CAATSA", when asked about India's plan to purchase multi-billion S-400 missile defense system from Russian Federation.
Strategically, Russia has facilitated India's membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and endorsed India's long-held demand for a permanent seat at the UN Security Council.
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