India Quietly Approves S-400 Deal Ahead of Modi-Putin Summit

Young Sergey Skripal as a lieutenant in the Russian Airborne Troops

On October 5, India and Russian Federation are expected to conclude three major military deals: for five S-400 missile systems estimated to cost about ₹39,000 crore (more than $5 billion), four stealth frigates and a deal for Ak-103 assault rifles to be manufactured in India. Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will also discuss key regional and global issues, including United States sanctions on import of Iranian crude oil. "The value of the contract will be more than Dollars 5 billion", he said. The two sides are expected to hold talks on setting up a new payment mechanism independent of the USA controlled dollar trade.

"As we know, spying, like prostitution, is one of the world's most important professions", Putin said, drawing applause from the audience. Just $5 a month. The second agreement is also a defence deal and it involves the purchase of four Krivak-class frigates worth $2 billion (Rs 1,476 crore at the current price). China was the first foreign buyer to seal a government-to-government deal with Russian Federation in 2014 to procure the lethal missile system and Moscow has already started delivery of an undisclosed number of the S-400 missile systems to Beijing.

By approving the contract, the Indian government has defied the US Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, also known as CAATSA on Russian Federation.

British officials say the poisoning was carried out by Russia's GRU military intelligence agency nearly certainly acting with the approval of Russian officials.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday hosted Russian President Vladimir Putin at a private dinner at the Lok Kalyan Marg in New Delhi, soon after he arrived in India.




Ushakov told reporters in Moscow that Russian Federation and India plan to sign more than 20 documents at the end of the talks.

Russian Federation is still India's biggest arms supplier, and the two have had warm ties since Stalin died in 1953.

Annual Russia-India trade has slipped below $10bn since 2014, as Modi cultivated closer diplomatic and economic ties with Washington, while Russia has courted Pakistan and China. Putin's image as an avid sportsman is also on display throughout the year, with photos of him wielding a shooting range pistol, playing hockey, horseback riding and cycling along a wooded road.

Afghanistan though has been a sticking point, experts say, where Moscow wants to engage Taliban in the peace process - a prospect unacceptable to India.

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