Modi, Putin discuss strategic ties; ink nuclear pact

Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin getting ready to shake hands before their talks at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum in Russia, June 1. Photo courtesy AP
Modi to meet Trump on June 26

ST PETERSBURG (TIP): Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Russian President Vladimir Putin in St Petersburg on June 1 and the two countries concluded a much awaited agreement to build the last two units of the Kudankulam nuclear power plant in Tamil Nadu.

In St Petersburg, the Russian President’s hometown, Modi and Putin discussed ways to take their energy and strategic ties forward. Russia and India signed five pacts, reflecting the partnership between the traditional allies.

The Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited and Russia’s Atomstroyexport, a subsidiary of Rosatom, the regulator of Russia’s nuclear complex, will jointly build the reactors of the 6,000 megawatt plant. The final two units will have a capacity to produce 1,000MW of power.

“International relations see ups and downs, but history is witness Indo-Russia relations have not seen any ups and downs,” the Prime Minister said and thanked President Putin for playing a crucial role in getting India the SCO membership. Putin said India will become a full-fledged member of the SCO in a week.

Also, he said in an exclusive interview to PTI that Russia does not have any “tight” military relationship with Pakistan, and asserted that its close friendship with India cannot be diluted.

But he sidestepped a question on Kashmir, saying “no matter where the threat comes from, it is unacceptable and we will always support India in its fight against terrorism“. Modi, who is on a four-nation tour, will return from France on June 3. He will travel to Astana in Kazakhstan for the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit on June 8 and 9.

Modi is expected to meet US President Donald Trump on June 26 in Washington, it is learnt.

This would be a highly-anticipated first meeting between the two after Trump took office in January. Government sources said counter-terrorism, maritime security and Afghanistan will top Modi’s agenda during his two-day visit to the US from June 25.

His official functions in Washington will be confined to the first half of June 26.

The possibility of the Indian private sector’s commitment to create jobs and opportunities in the US is likely to be his agenda. That could be an attempt to bridge gaps as the latest US policies are inimical to immigrant workers following Trump’s poll promise to create and protect American jobs.

On his way to the US, Modi will stop in the Netherlands. He will visit Portugal on his return journey. (Source: PTI)

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