Putin calls ex-spy Skripal a 'scumbag' and 'traitor'

India Russia To Sign Deal For S400 Air Defence System This Week Kremlin

Novichok Victim Sergei Skripal Branded 'Scumbag' Traitor By Vladimir Putin

Twenty pacts in areas ranging from defence, nuclear energy, space and economy, are likely to signed by India and Russian Federation reported The Indian Express. "We released him and that was it, he left".

"We very much appreciate what India has done to provide both assistance to Afghanistan, including through using Chabahar Port for the delivery of wheat", US Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of South and Central Asia Region, Alice Wells, had said.

The US is in a hard position as it seeks to contain China through better ties with India, which like Washington has been unnerved by Beijing's growing assertiveness. It wants to bolster ties with New Delhi to counter China's growing assertiveness, something that has also rattled India.

Russian Federation and India have had warm ties since Stalin died in 1953.

While New Delhi is cozying up to Moscow for the mega-billion defence deals, the looming United States sanctions can't be overlooked. During the visit, President Putin will hold delegation level talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi tomorrow. India wants to procure the long-range missile systems to tighten its air defence mechanism, particularly along the almost 4,000-km-long Sino-India border.

Global regional forums, cultural and people-to-people contact, counter-terrorism, energy security, Syria, science and technology and civil nuclear cooperation are also likely to be on the meet's agenda, according to a India Today report. "India has been shopping around for sometime now for air-defence systems", he told Al Jazeera.

The S-400 is an upgraded version of the S-300 systems. So the Russian S-400s are being seen as a good solution.

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman told reporters India was closing in on the deal to buy the air defence system from Russian Federation, with which it has long-standing military ties. "That's that", he told a panel discussion at an energy forum. Moscow is now expanding India's biggest nuclear power plant in Kudankulam.

That New Delhi has opted to go ahead with the signing of the deal during Mr Putin's visit despite the uncertainty arising from the USA threat of sanctions is an indication of the importance it attaches to defence and strategic ties with Moscow.

Also on the agenda is Russian training for Indian astronauts as New Delhi aims to launch its first crewed space mission in 2022.

But military relations would likely be the main focus.

The last annual summit was held on June 1st a year ago, during the visit of the Prime Minister Modi to Russian Federation.

"The value of the contract will be more than $5 billion", he added. They also met in Sochi this year.

He called Russia's military relationship with India "traditional and long-standing".

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