Modi to visit Russian Federation on May 21 for informal summit

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NEW DELHI:Perhaps inspired by the recent summit with China's president Xi Jinping in Wuhan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Sochi, Russia on May 21 for an "informal" summit with President Vladimir Putin.

Calling it an important occasion, the Indian ministry's statement said that both leaders would also discuss their respective national priorities and bilateral issues. Since the beginning of 2018, they have had several phone conversations.

The 45,000-capacity Nizhny Novgorod Stadium is one of the 12 venues that will host the tournament across 11 Russian cities, and it will hold England's Group G meeting with Panama on June 24, as well as five other matches. By the end of 2017, India was Russia's 17th major trade partner, accounting for 1.6% of the entire trade turnover.

The visit comes at a time when India's defence purchase from Russian Federation could be impacted due to United States sanctions under a newly enacted law, Countering America's Adversaries through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said it will be an important occasion for the two leaders to exchange views on global matters in a "broad and long-term perspective" with the objective of further strengthening "special and privileged strategic partnership" between the two countries.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will become the first head of state to travel to Russian Federation since President Vladimir Putin took the oath of office for a fourth term last week.

Modi's visit to Russian Federation also comes just after Putin won a fourth term in office in March this year after remaining in power for nearly two decades.

The Modi-Putin summit will be followed swiftly by Modi travelling to Indonesia and Singapore, and then China for the SCO summit.

Last week, national security adviser Ajit Doval had visited Moscow and held talks with foreign minister Sergei Lavrov. The talking points included the Afghan and West Asian situation.

"Our foreign policy coordination is making steady progress as part of regular bilateral contacts between the relevant agencies, as well as in the context of our partnership promotion in multilateral formats".

The Modi-Putin summit is taking place under the shadow of the growing friendship between Moscow and Islamabad, much to the discomfort of India. "All this allows us to closely interact and coordinate our approaches in the United Nations and various military and political security mechanisms in the Asia-Pacific region", Lavrov had said.

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