NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin will review the state of bilateral ties and discuss ways to further strengthen the strategic partnership between the two countries at their summit talks on December 6, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said on Thursday.
MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said the 21st India-Russia summit in Delhi will offer an opportunity to the two leaders to exchange views on regional, multilateral and international issues of mutual interests.
It is expected that the two leaders will deliberate on the situation in Afghanistan as well as to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic among other issues.
The Russian President is visiting India on December 6 for the summit.
Giving details of the engagements between the two sides on December 6, Bagchi said Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will hold a meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergey Shoygu India-Russia under the framework of the India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on Military-Technical Cooperation.
Separately, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar will hold talks with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov.
"We foresee a very intensive engagement during the day that will culminate in the summit," the MEA spokesperson said.
Following the two meetings, the foreign and defence ministers of the two countries will hold the inaugural '2+2' ministerial dialogue that is expected to discuss bilateral, regional and international issues.
"In the afternoon, the 21st India-Russia annual summit will be held and we look forward to welcoming President Putin for the summit," Bagchi said at a media briefing.
He said the leaders will review the state and prospects of the bilateral relations and discuss ways to further strengthen the strategic partnership.
"The summit will offer an opportunity to exchange views on regional, multilateral and international issues of mutual interests," he said.
"A joint statement is proposed to be issued at the end of the summit which will encapsulate the discussions, understandings and agreements signed during and the run-up to the summit," Bagchi said.
He said Lavrov and Shoygu are expected to arrive in Delhi on December 5.
India has the '2+2' ministerial format of dialogue with very few countries including the US, Japan and Australia.
The Modi-Putin summit is expected to produce specific outcomes in further expanding ties in areas of defence, trade and energy.
It is learnt that the two sides are going to firm up a number of agreements in the areas of defence, trade and investment, and science and technology at the summit.
A framework for military-technical cooperation is set to be renewed for the next decade at the summit besides announcing a joint commission on technology and science.
India and Russia have also reached the final phase of negotiation for a logistics support agreement and it is likely to be signed either during the two-plus-two talks or at the summit.
The pact will allow militaries of the two countries to use each other's bases for repair and replenishment of supplies, besides facilitating scaling up of overall defence cooperation.
Russia has been a time-tested partner for India and the country has been a key pillar of New Delhi's foreign policy.