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US, Chinese unease as Putin seeks India arms deals

05 October 2018

The signing of a deal for Russia's S-400 Triumf air defence system is the key feature of the visit.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is scheduled to arrive to India on Thursday for a two-day visit during which Moscow is expected to ink weapons deal worth billions of dollars. Almost 70 percent of India's present-day defense equipment was procured from Russian Federation, according to India's Defense Ministry.

Moscow has been negotiating to sell the S-400 long-range surface-to-air missiles to India for months.

While Putin's aide Yury Ushakov had confirmed earlier this week about the signing of the S-400 air missile defence system, Indian government sources said that "indications" are that it will be done.

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S-400 air defence system The focus of the summit will be an agreement on the S-400 air defence missile system. The US only last week slapped sanctions on China for buying the same S-400s.

British officials say the poisoning was carried out by Russia's GRU military intelligence agency nearly certainly acting with the approval of Russian officials. Although New Delhi has diversified in recent years and the USA has emerged as its second biggest source of arms, Moscow still remains an important source of weapons.

After an increase in prices that resulted from reduction, participants of the deal agreed in June 2018 to raise output by 1 million bpd.

India will ask the United States for a special waiver for the purchase - as discussed by their defence and foreign ministers in New Delhi last month - but Washington has signalled there is no guarantee it will accede. Moscow is now expanding India's biggest nuclear power plant in Kudankulam. "For this reason, Turkey chose to purchase the S-400s from Russian Federation, despite all the threats and sanctions from the USA, this is an absolutely logical choice", he explained.

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The US had warned India against the planned purchase.

The last annual summit was held on June 1st previous year, during the visit of the Prime Minister Modi to Russian Federation. Russian Federation and India have had close political and military ties since the days of Soviet-Indian partnership, and India is now a booming market for Russia's most-successful industries.

Even as India is trying to stabilise its defence ties with Russian Federation, there are growing concerns in New Delhi about Russia's increasing tilt towards Pakistan as it seeks to curry favour with China.

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US, Chinese unease as Putin seeks India arms deals