PM Narendra Modi underlined the primacy of Moscow in New Delhi's strategic calculus when he said Russia was and would remain India's most important defence partner. This, he said, was despite the fact that India now had more options, in what was seen as an oblique reference to its growing military and defence ties with the US. Modi's remark came after his summit meet here with President Vladimir Putin, who offered India lucrative energy deals and sought to provide a leg-up to Modi's `Make in India' campaign.
After the talks, the two nations signed as many as 20 agreements -seven inter-governmental and 13 commercial -including a strategic vision for cooperation in peaceful uses of atomic energy . Another agreement was signed for partnership in oil and natural gas. Modi, who addressed the media in English, said apart from the 4 reactors at Kudankulam, the two countries outlined an “ambitious vision for nuclear energy of at least 10 more reactors“. Putin, in fact, said in his statement that Russia would help build 20 reactors in India.
In a boost for Modi's `Make in India' initiative, Putin offered to build one of Russia's most advanced helicopters (Ka226T) in India. Putin said the joint initiative could consider exporting the helicopters to other countries. Modi thanked Putin for the offer, saying India would follow up on it quickly .Modi described Putin as a leader of a great nation with which “we have a friendship of unmatched mutual confidence, trust and goodwill“.
“We have a strategic partnership that is incomparable in content. The steadfast support of the people of Russia for India has been there even at difficult moments in our history. It has been a pillar of strength for India's development, security and international relations,“ said Modi. One of the deals signed will facilitate training of Indian armed forces personnel in the military establishment of Russia's defence ministry. The leaders condoled the loss of lives in “senseless terrorist acts“ in days in J&K and Russia's Chechnya.