PM Modi in Vladivostok for EEF, talks with Putin

Vladivostok (Russia), Sep 4 : Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived here on Wednesday on a two-day visit during which he will attend the annual Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) and hold bilateral Summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Some agreements are expected to be signed between the two countries on Wednesday evening after the talks between Modi and Putin which are likely to focus on giving a fresh impetus to the Strategic relationship.

The discussions are likely to focus on giving a boost to bilateral trade and investment and cooperation in the fields of defence, energy, infrastructure and various other sectors.

The issue of tension between India and Pakistan over Jammu and Kashmir may also figure in the talks, against the backdrop of war-mongering by Pakistan.

Russia has already rebuffed Pakistan's attempts to seek mediation, saying that it is a bilateral matter between India and Pakistan.

Modi and Putin are expected to discuss a proposal to establish a free trade zone between India and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), a five-nation grouping, comprising Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Armenia and Belarus, formed in 2015 to create conditions for the stable development of economies of the member states.

Talks have been concluded on this proposal which is expected to give a fillip to the economic ties between India and the Eurasian region.

In the defence sector, the relationship is already witnessing a change from buyer-seller to the one of collaboration.

A highlight in this regard is setting up of a factory in India for manufacture of AK-203 rifles.

Modi will visit a ship-building facility here before the talks.

Modi and Putin last met in Kyrgyz capital Bishkek in June on the sidelines of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit and agreed on the need to explore new areas of cooperation.

Modi, who is the Chief Guest, at this year's EEF, will address the event tomorrow.

Before embarking on the visit, Modi said his visit to the Far East Region of Russia, the first by an Indian Prime Minister, underlines the desire on the both sides to diversify and further strengthen the bonds of our robust bilateral relations.

In a statement in New Delhi, he said the two countries enjoyed excellent relations, based on the strong foundation of their special and privileged strategic partnership.

"Both countries cooperate extensively in the strategic fields of defence, civil nuclear energy and peaceful uses of space.

We have robust and growing trade and investment relations," he added.

"Our strong partnership is complemented by a desire to promote a multi-polar world and the two countries closely cooperate towards this end in regional and multilateral fora.

I look forward to discussing with my friend President Putin the entire gamut of our bilateral partnership as well as regional and international issues of mutual interest," the Prime Minister said.

About his visit to the Zvezda ship-building complex, Modi said in his pre-departure tweets, "It would present a great opportunity to learn about Russia's exemplary capabilities in the ship-building sector as well as explore possibilities of cooperation in this area.


There is also a possibility of the PM holding bilateral meetings with leaders attending the EEF meeting.

The EEF is held annually with the objective of facilitating accelerated development of the Russian Far East's economy and expanding international cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region.

IANS will be the media partner at this year's event.

During the EEF, a "Russia-India" dialogue is planned as part of the Forum's business programme, to be attended by representatives from both countries.

In addition, India will have a national stand at the EEF venue to present the country's economic, industrial, tourism and cultural potential.



Source: IANS