Putin-Modi bonhomie at play in talks
Photo by AP/PTI

It is heartening that talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Vladivostok have gone off well. Modi indeed has a penchant for forging mutually-beneficial relationships and of striking the right chord with world leaders. He has proved that time and again and it is reassuring that his personal chemistry with most of them is impeccable. While the two sides reiterated that they are against “outside influence in internal matters of any nation,” hinting at opposing US President Trump’s offer to mediate on Indo-Pak issues, Modi and Putin signed 15 MoUs across a range of sectors. The nuclear power plants being built in India by Russia came in for special focus by Modi who said they had strengthened bilateral relations. His proposal for a “full-fledged” maritime route between Chennai and Vladivostok would be of mutual benefit. The bilateral MoUs also covered connectivity, oil and gas and energy . Defence ties and terrorism also found a common chord between the two leaders.

The two sides also laid emphasis on civil nuclear cooperation as an important component of strategic relations. There was no reference to the S-400 missile deal evidently because while the deal is clinched India did not want the Americans to be offended by it further. The Russians were receptive to the suggestion of cooperating in infrastructure projects in India on a bigger scale. The deal between the US and Taliban in Afghanistan and the joint role that India and Russia could play in that country also were areas of focus. Overall, the meeting were distinguishable by the commonality of interests between the two countries.

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