PM Modi in Russian Federation, visits Zvezda shipbuilding complex with President Putin

Modi Putin

India and Russian Federation on Wednesday signed a five-year road map for cooperation in the energy sector, the centrepiece of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's two-day visit to Vladivostok, as New Delhi looks to diversify its fuel sources from the volatile Gulf region.

"I'm honoured to be the first-ever Indian Prime Minister to be coming to Vladivostok". I also look forward to meeting other global leaders attending the Eastern Economic Forum, and interacting with Indian Industry and business representatives participating in it.

Trade between the two countries amounted to approximately US$11 billion (S$15 billion) past year.

Recalling his first meeting with Putin in 2001, he said, "Then (in 2011) I arrived in Moscow with the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee".

Ahead of his visit, in his departure statement, Prime Minister said his visit to Vladivostok is the first-ever by an Indian Prime Minister to the Far East Region of Russian Federation and it underlines the desire on the both sides to strengthen the bonds of robust bilateral relations.

After shaking hands warmly on Modi's arrival, the two men boarded a Russian navy patrol ship and headed to the Zvezda shipyard about 40 kilometres (25 miles) across a bay from Vladivostok.

The Prime Minister also expressed his gratitude for being selected for the "Order of Saint Andrew the Apostle", the highest civilian award of the Russian Federation. Modi thanked Putin for inviting him to the EEF, saying it is "a matter of great respect". "It's a matter of honour for the 1.3 billion Indians", he said. Modi expressed his gratitude to President Putin and people of Russian Federation for conferring Russia's highest civilian award on him. The two leaders discussed ways to diversify bilateral ties to benefit people in both countries. The two leaders are expected to discuss a number of key regional issues, including the Afghan peace process and situation in the Gulf region.

More news: British lawmakers vote to block no-deal Brexit amid election haggling

Modi, before leaving for Russia said that he was looking forward to discussing regional and worldwide issues of mutual interest with the Russian President, Vladimir Putin.

Russian Federation is keen to bring investors other than China into its Pacific region, so the two are likely to sign agreements "regarding Indian investment and presence in the Far East", he said.

"With the signing of the road map for cooperation in hydrocarbons for 2019-24 during the summit, both sides expect bilateral cooperation in this sector to touch new heights in the next five years", according to a joint statement by the two countries.

"I am confident that this visit will give a new vector, new energy and a new impetus to the relations between our countries", Modi said.

Speaking on India-Russia ties, PM Modi said "the power of India-Russia friendship has been leveraged for the mutual benefit of our citizens" adding that "this friendship was not restricted to their respective capital cities".

The meeting will take place later today.

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