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

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership 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.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid