Russia and India’s leaders announced on Friday a raft of deals worth billions of dollars including for a military defence system, as New Delhi walks a tightrope between Moscow and Washington with a wary eye on China.
The flagship accord announced during a visit to India by President Vladimir Putin was for the formidable S-400 surface-to-air missile defence system, worth $5.2 billion according to an Indian source.
Other agreements – announced following a meeting between Putin and Prime Minister Narendra Modi that began with a hug – were in railways, fertilisers and space, with Russia set to train astronauts for India’s first crewed space mission in 2022.
The two countries also signed a pact to build six more nuclear reactors at a new site in India.
“We welcome you as a leader of a country which has second-to-none relations with us,” Modi told a joint news conference.