The Straits Times
Published on Dec 24, 2012

Putin to focus on economic ties on trip to India


NEW DELHI (AP) - India and Russia held talks on Monday intended to help cement Russia's position in the growing Indian market and reinvigorate political ties.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh kicked off the talks at the end of which Moscow and New Delhi are expected to sign agreements on trade, science, education and law enforcement.

While the volume of Russian-Indian trade has risen six-fold since 2000 and is expected to reach US$10 billion (S$12.2 billion) this year, the growth has slowed in recent years. And even though India remains the No. 1 customer for Russia's arms industries, Moscow has recently lost several multibillion-dollar contracts to Western weapons makers.

Russia and India have shared close ties since the Cold War, when Moscow was a key ally and the principal arms supplier to New Delhi.