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Putin targets arms deals, doubling in trade on India trip

Published on Dec 24, 2012 6:28 AM
 
Russia's President Vladimir Putin holds a news conference at the end of an EU-Russia Summit meeting in Brussels on Dec 21, 2012. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW DELHI (AFP) - Russian President Vladimir Putin pledged to tighten defence ties with India and double levels of bilateral trade within three years as he headed to New Delhi for a summit on Monday.

Accompanied by several senior ministers and military officials, Mr Putin will meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on a one-day visit designed to highlight the strong ties between two traditional allies and fellow BRICS.

"I would like to stress that deepening of friendship and cooperation with India is among the top priorities of our foreign policy," Mr Putin wrote in an article for The Hindu, an Indian daily, ahead of his visit.

India is now the world's largest arms importer and Russian-made military equipment accounts for 70 per cent of Indian arms supplies.

 
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