Modi in Russia: After Xi, PM heads for informal talks with Putin; updates Modi and Putin will hold an informal meeting today in Russia's Sochi where the two leaders will discuss pressing global issues and Indo-Russia defence ties. Catch all the live updates here.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday left for Russia's Sochi for an informal summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin. When the two leaders meet, some of the US' moves might form the crust of their discussion. Modi and Putin will primarily focus on pressing global issues, including the possible repercussions of US sanctions against Russia under the Countering America's Adversaries through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) on Indo-Russia defence cooperation and the impact of the US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal. The CAATSA is of significant importance for Indo-Russia defence ties as India plans to purchase five S-400 Triumf air defence systems for around $4.5 billion from Moscow. The US on Friday warned that its friends and allies, including India, should consider CAATSA before making any significant purchase of military equipment from Moscow. "I'm hoping that not just India, but all of the partners that we engage with will understand that we will have to evaluate any potential large defence purchase from Russia seriously because that's what the law demands of us," US Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs Tina Kaidanow said. India has, however, asserted that it will not allow any third country to dictate its ties with Russia. Upon arrival, Modi will be received by local dignitaries at the airport. He is then scheduled to visit the residence resort of President Putin. This is Modi's second informal summit in as many months as he held talks with Chinese President Xi Jingpin in China's Wuhan in a similar format last month. Sources told news agencies that there could be more such informal summits between Modi and other world leaders in the coming months as India eyes to play an important role in global power dynamics.