News / Asia

Russian Prime Minister Making Brief, Important Visit to India

Russia Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is expected to discuss several bilateral issues during a brief visit to India.

The Russian prime minister is no stranger to India. He visited four times during his eight-year presidency.  In his first visit as prime minister he will be accompanied by government ministers, defense contractors and business executives.

Russia is trying to maintain its position as the top weapons supplier to India, despite the South Asia country's warmer defense ties with the United States.   

India's former foreign secretary, Lalit Mansingh, tells VOA Mr. Putin deserves credit for restoring the strong ties of the Soviet era that unraveled during the presidency of Boris Yeltsin.

"We got the distinct impression that Yeltsin's advisors were telling him to abandon India, India was of no strategic consequence to Russia," Mansingh said.  "I think Putin rectified that when he came in 2000, and since then the relationship has improved considerably in many areas. So whether he is president or prime minister he is still the most important political figure in Russia."  

During Mr. Putin's 21-hour visit, India and Russia are expected to sign an additional contract concerning the contentious sale of a used Russian aircraft carrier to the Indian navy.

In 2004, the two countries agreed on a purchase price of about $950 million for the Admiral Gorshkov.  The Russians twice significantly revised the price, saying they had underestimated the cost of retrofitting the 273-meter vessel.  

Media reports here say Moscow and New Delhi have now agreed on a price tag of $2.3 billion.

The Gorshkov, to be renamed INS Vikramaditya, is to replace India's only aircraft carrier, the Viraat, which was originally commissioned as the HMS Hermes for the British Royal Navy in 1959.   

Other deals, also worth billions of dollars, are expected to be signed for sales to India of MiG-29 fighter jets and nuclear reactors.
   
Despite the recent civil nuclear deal between New Delhi and Washington, veteran diplomat Mansingh predicts Russia will play a dominant role in supplying technology and equipment to help fuel India's booming economy.  

"The Russians will be our most important energy partner, both in the conventional field and in the non-conventional area," Mansingh said.

The two countries signed a nuclear energy cooperation agreement when Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visited Moscow in December.

The two countries already have agreements for construction of four nuclear reactors in addition to a pair of Russian units being built in the southern state of Tamil Nadu.

Diplomats say they expect regional security, including the situations in Afghanistan and Iran, will also be discussed between the two prime ministers during their official talks.


Steve Herman

A veteran journalist, Steven L Herman is the Voice of America Asia correspondent.

You May Like

For Lebanon-based Refugees, Desperation Fuels Perilous Passage

In a war that has caused an estimated three million people to flee Syria, efforts to make perilous sea journey in search of asylum expected to increase More

South African Brewer Tackles Climate Change

Mega-brewer SAB Miller sent delegates to climate summit in Peru, says it is one of many private companies taking their own steps to fight climate change More

Indonesia Reports Increase in Citizens Joining Islamic State

Officials say more than 350 of its citizens are now in Syria or Iraq to fight with Islamic State - 50 more than last month More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid