PM Modi, Putin, Russia
PM Modi with Russian President Putin

As Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin in Vladivostok for the Eastern Economic Forum (EEF), India and Russia are expected to come up with a five-year plan for stronger cooperation.

The two countries will deliberate on various issues including oil and gas sector, skills development, mining, medicine, education and agriculture.

Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale briefed the media on the PM’s visit, saying that there was a possibility of opening a maritime route linking Chennai with Vladivostok as it could connect Europe also through the Arctic route.

Among other things, Gokhale said cooperation in the farming sector and sending of skilled manpower to Russia will be part of the discussions.

Mr Modi’s visit from September 4 to 5, will be short, lasting for about 36 hours, added Gokhale.

The PM has been invited by Putin to attend the EEF as one of the chief guests. Other than that the two world leaders will meet for the 20th India-Russia annual summit on September 4.

The EEF, scheduled for September 5, will see bilateral talks with several leaders on the sidelines.

Meanwhile, the Indian and Russian leaders will visit an international judo championship in Vladivostok in which an Indian team of six members is participating, said Gokhale.

A visit to one of Russia’s major shipbuilding yards is also lined up during the visit, he added.

On a question about Kashmir, the foreign secretary stated that Russia completely supports India on the Kashmir issue and on its concerns on cross-border terrorism.

Gokhale also revealed India’s plans to announce investment in new oil fields in Russia and that a significant decision may be taken on the import of LNG from Russia.

Further, during the summit talks, PM Modi and Putin are also expected to discuss several key regional issues including the Afghan peace process and situation in the Gulf region. Ways to improve cooperation while working in multilateral organisations like the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and BRICS are also expected to come up during the talks.

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