Presidential aide Yuri Ushakov told reporters details of Vladimir Putin’s working visit to India on December 6, as well as the head of state’s other contacts, including with US leader Joe Biden.
How will the visit to India be?
Vladimir Putin will arrive in India on December 6 for talks with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. According to Ushakov, the Russian delegation is small – in addition to the President, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Ushakov himself will participate in the negotiations.
Since there are several agreements between developing countries, we have agreed that Rosneft General Manager Igor Sechin will join the Russian delegation, Ushakov said. “Rosneft» develops cooperation with Indian partners on projects related to the extraction, refining and sale of petroleum products.
Since 2001, the Indian company ONGC Videsh Ltd. is a member of the participants of the Sakhalin-1 project. In 2020, the project produced 12.4 million tonnes of oil and condensate, and delivered over 2.4 billion cubic meters to consumers. m gas, wrote Interfax. Indian companies own 49.9% of Rosneft’s subsidiary Vankorneft (it is developing the Vankor oil and gas condensate field in the Krasnoyarsk Territory with recoverable reserves in the AB1 + B2 category of 286 million tons of oil and condensate and 103 billion cubic meters of gas), 29.9% of Taas-Yuryakh Neftegazodobycha (holds licenses for the blocks of the central block of the Srednebotuobinskoye field and the Kurungsky license area with AB1С1 + B2С2 reserves of 168 million tonnes of oil and condensate and 198 billion cubic meters of gas).
Additionally, one of India’s largest shipyards, Mazagon Dock Limited, has become a partner of Zvezda Shipyard. Moreover, according to the Indian edition of Mint, Indian companies can enter the Rosneft Vostok Oil project with a resource base of more than 6 billion tons of oil (which is comparable to the largest oil provinces in the Middle East or American shale formations, writes Interfax). In turn, Rosneft in 2017 acquired 49.13% of Nayara Energy, which also includes India’s second largest refinery in the city of Vadinar with a capacity of 20 million tons per year.
“Russia attaches great importance to the development of relations with India. The president has spoken about this publicly in recent days – at the Foreign Ministry collegium and at the presentation of credentials by ambassadors,” Ushakov said. Putin stressed that India is one of the authoritative centers of the multipolar world, the philosophy of the Indian leadership and people is close to Russia, and bilateral relations are actively developing, Ushakov said. This Putin visit will be in response to Modi’s 2019 trip to Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok.
Putin’s visit to India was scheduled for 2020, but was postponed. The pandemic has dealt the biggest blow to cooperation between the two countries, Ushakov admitted.
Over the past two years, due to the pandemic, contacts have been kept remote, but were regular in nature. This year, Putin and Modi spoke twice – in April and August, in addition, they participated in the session of the UN Security Council on maritime security, the summits of the SCO, BRICS and of the G20. Ushakov stressed that the Russian President and the Indian Prime Minister communicate face to face, which is of great importance, since they manage to discuss “the most complex and delicate issues of the international situation”. Such an opportunity will also be available on the next visit. First there will be a joint statement by Putin and Modi, after which there will be talks with members of the delegations, and then a dinner between Putin and Modi.
On the morning of December 6, a meeting of the Intergovernmental Commission on Military and Military-Technical Cooperation will take place, on the Russian side the commission is headed by Shoigu. The subject of military-technical cooperation is one of the most important in bilateral relations with India, Ushakov said. After that, there will be contacts in the “two plus two” format – negotiations between the foreign and defense ministers of the two countries.
The presidential aide did not specify which specific agreements would be signed between the countries. A total of ten bilateral agreements are under discussion. “I wouldn’t want to hint, because they are currently being worked on,” Ushakov said. But it is certain that the package of agreements will be signed during the visit.
Ushakov stressed that the trade turnover between Russia and India is being restored, since the beginning of the year it amounts to 8.8 billion dollars, there is cooperation between the countries both in nuclear energy and in space.
Biden will see Putin
According to Ushakov, the negotiations with Biden will take place via videoconference in the coming days, after the Russian president’s visit to India. “We have a specific date and time for the event, but I think it’s better to wait for the final agreement with the American side,” the presidential aide said. There is now active preparation for these negotiations, he added.
The agenda for these contacts is obvious – this is the follow-up to the summer talks in Geneva, the presidential aide said: “Issues related to the implementation of the Geneva agreements, bilateral affairs, on the international agenda – Iran, the Ukrainian crisis, Libya, Syria will be discussed.” The question of holding a summit of the permanent members of the UN Security Council will also be discussed.
An important topic of the negotiations will be the issue of strategic stability, Ushakov stressed. In particular, the last proposal that the President spoke about will be discussed – the need to work together to reach legal agreements that would exclude NATO’s further eastward advance, deployment on the territory of neighboring states of Russia, including Ukraine, “weapons systems that threaten us.
According to him, the USSR and Russia received verbal promises that NATO military structures would not move east, but these verbal assurances were not kept. “Now, given the tense situation, the question arises of the urgent need to provide us with appropriate guarantees,” Ushakov said. It is still unclear what form the document will take, but the agreements need to be put on paper, he added.
According to Ushakov, the president’s international contacts have recently intensified. The telephone conversations are very intense, there have been many personal meetings, recalled the presidential assistant. Among them, Putin’s meeting with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, Vietnamese President Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, Finnish President Sauli Niiniste and others . had trilateral contacts with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan.
According to Ushakov, in the future Putin will also have many meetings, contacts with colleagues, as well as international visits. In December, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko are expected to visit Russia. There will be a meeting of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council on video conferencing. Also, before the end of the year, Putin could meet with all the leaders of the Eurasian Economic Community, but Ushakov refused to say what kind of meeting it would be. As for negotiations with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Ushakov has not heard that such negotiations are in preparation.
Also, Chinese President Xi Jinping invited Putin to the opening of the Beijing Olympics on February 4. Now the possibility of a visit is being considered, the issue is being discussed with Chinese colleagues, Ushakov said.