Russia Annual Summit kicks off in Vladivostok, Several agreements inked

New Delhi, Moscow exchange 15 MoUs; Russia to build 20 more nuclear power plants in India, says Putin

Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Russia Wednesday on a two-day visit during which he will hold summit talks with President Vladimir Putin and attend the Eastern Economic Forum.

This comes as Russian Federation has maintained that abrogation of Article 370 is the "sovereign decision" of the Indian government adding that it was an "internal matter" of India.

The two leaders held the delegation-level talks at the India-Russia 20th Annual Summit after a two-hour tete-a-tete on board a ship, aimed at strengthening the special and privileged relationship between the two sides.

It was the common goal of the two sides to reach an agreement to establish a free trade area between India and the Eurasian economic union.

Before departing for Russia, Modi said he looked forward to discussing regional and worldwide issues of mutual interest with President Putin. "We have put people at the core of this relationship", Modi added. Following the meeting, New Delhi and Moscow are slated to sign agreements in the fields of defence, trade, investments, industrial cooperation, energy and connectivity corridors.

"We (India and Russia) both are against outside influence in the internal matters of any nation", Modi stressed in an apparent reference to Pakistan's diabolic attempts of internationalizing the Kashmir issue.

Earlier in the day, during a delegation-level meeting, PM Modi said Russian Federation is an integral friend and trustworthy partner of India.

Putin and Modi agreed to strengthen cooperation in defense, including production of military equipment, components and spare parts, improvement of the after sales service system, and further regular joint exercises of the armed forces of the two countries.

"All technical and commercial talks are finished" and payment restrictions caused by USA sanctions are "not an issue anymore" as the two countries agreed to use national currencies, Mr Kladov said.

Earlier in the day, the Prime Minister and Russian President visited Zvezda Shipbuilding Plant near Vladivostok.

Prime Minister Modi will release a commemorative stamp to mark the 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and also launch an Yoga app.

For his part, Putin hailed his "great friend, Mr Modi" and said India was "our strategic partner".

Gokhale said India is looking at Russian Federation as a major source of hydrocarbons so as to end its complete dependency on the Gulf region.

Modi pointed out that mutual ties also extend to nature, as every year "Siberian cranes migrate to my home state Gujarat". The Forum focuses on development of business and investment opportunities in the Russian Far East Region, and presents enormous potential for developing close and mutually beneficial cooperation between India and Russia in this region.

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