Vladimir Putin's visit could bring sparkle back to India-Russia ties

Friday, 05 December 2014 13:20

Putin will be meeting Prime Minister Modi on December 11 for the 15th India-Russia Annual Summit.

NEW DELHI: India-Russia ties are set to get the sparkle of diamonds during the summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Vladimir Putin next week during which both sides would also seek to draw up a long-term vision of their key strategic ties. Putin will also address a joint session of the Indian parliament. The Russian president will be meeting Modi on Dec 11 for the 15th India-Russia Annual Summit. Though the exact schedule of his visit has not yet been firmed up, Putin is expected to arrive on Dec 10 evening, or land early on Dec 11 itself, it is understood. Though both Modi and Putin have met earlier at international gatherings, no structured bilateral talks have been held so far. Both leaders have also not had any informal talks that would help both to strike a personal rapport, like that between Modi and US President Barack Obama, or with Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott. Modi appears to have struck a personal chord with Obama and especially so with Abbott, which was visible during his Australia visit. Modi met with Putin in July during the BRICS - Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa - summit in Fortaleza, Brazil and later during the informal BRICS meeting in Brisbane, Australia, on the sidelines of the G20 last month. During the Brisbane gathering, the meeting between Modi and Putin was brief. The Delhi summit talks is expected to provide both leaders an opportunity to know each other's mind and points of view. India has moved away from Russia in recent years, a far cry from the special relationship that the two countries enjoyed during the Soviet era. Putin had, however, struck a special rapport with former prime minister Manmohan Singh, who attended 10 of the annual bilateral summit meetings. India and Russia are expected to ink a vision document giving a fillip to their long-term relationship, especially under the government of Narendra Modi, which came to power six months ago. The visit comes as the Russian economy has taken a beating due to Western sanctions over the Ukraine crisis and its currency, the rouble, suffering the biggest fall since 1998 due to the dip in global oil prices. Russia is a major oil exporter. Alrosa, a leading Russian diamond miner, is also looking to working closely with the Indian cutting and polishing industry. The Indian diamond industry buys roughs, produced mostly in Russia, from Dubai and Belgium. India has a major cutting and polishing industry with cities like Surat and Jaipur being major centres. State-owned Alrosa accounts for around 25 percent of the world output of roughs, while the Indian diamond processing industry accounts for some 60 percent by value of global polished diamond output. An estimated 14 out of 15 polished diamonds studded in jewellery globally are cut and polished in India. In 2013, Alrosa produced 36.9 million carats of rough. India imported 163.11 million carats of roughs worth $16.34 billion, and exported 36.46 million carats of polished diamonds worth $20.23 billion in 2013. But, direct import of rough diamonds from Russia to India stands at a modest $767 million, a little less than five percent of India's total import of roughs. Both sides are of the view that direct supplies of rough diamonds could boost bilateral trade in roughs to $5 billion. Russia is the largest diamond-producing nation in the world, estimated to have produced a little over 33 million carats in 2013, with Alrosa accounting for approximately 97 percent. In April this year, India's Gem Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) and Alrosa signed a memorandum of understanding to share diamond trade data. The GJEPC has suggested the Indian government set up a special trading zone at the Bharat Diamond Bourse in Mumbai, and replicate the same in Surat at a later stage, said reports.


4 Dec, 2014, 04.19PM IST

Popular articles

19 September 2016

STATEMENT by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of...

We strongly condemn the terrorist attack against an army base in Jammu and Kashmir’s Uri in the early hours of September 18, which killed 17 and injured...
28 October 2016

Meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club

Vladimir Putin took part in the final session of the Valdai International Discussion Club’s 13th annual meeting, which this year took the theme The Future...
25 January 2017

Congratulatory message by the President of the Russian...

Moscow, Kremlin   Esteemed Mr President, Esteemed Mr Prime Minister, Kindly accept my cordial greetings on the national holiday – the Republic...
Emergency phone number only for the citizens of Russia in emergency in India +91-81-3030-0551
Shantipath, Chanakyapuri,
New Delhi - 110021
(91-11) 26873799; 26889160;
(91-11) 26876823
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.