PM Modi hosts dinner for Russian President Putin

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Indian Defence Minister Mrs. Nirmala Sitharaman had earlier said: "Negotiation on S-400 air defence systems has been on for a long while and it is at a stage where it can be finalised".

India Friday inked a multi-billion dollar defense deal with Russian Federation to acquire S-400 Triumf missile systems from Moscow, government sources here said.

Though the United States had warned any such agreement between India and Russian Federation could attract sanctions under the USA law, the BJP-led government had still chose to go ahead with the deal.

Besides the S-400 deal, India and Russian Federation are also expected to sign a number of crucial energy deals.

The deal was concluded during the visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin for the annual summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday.

But Andrey Slepnev, Director of Russia Export Center, struck a positive not and dismissed United States actions as "illegal" and reaffirmed the need for continuity in bilateral cooperation between India and Russia.

India, walking a tightrope between Russian Federation and the United States while keeping a wary eye on China, is expected to seek sanctions waivers but President Donald Trump´s administration has signalled this is unlikely.

Describing Russia as a traditional ally, the Prime Minister said a special cell has been set up here to facilitate investments from Russia into India. "We can not prejudge any sanctions decisions", the US Embassy spokesperson added.

Why Arun Jaitley's fuel price cut is bad economics
The fuel price cut decision is only the latest in India's government efforts to cushion the blow from rising oil prices. Bihar government also reduced petrol and diesel prices by Rs 2.52 and Rs 2.55 per litre respectively on Friday.

Deputy Director of the Asia Programme and South Asia senior associate, The Wilson Centre, Michael Kugelman tells OneIndia that Putin visit itself will not affect US-India ties in a big way.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi Friday invited Russian Federation to set up a dedicated defence industrial park in India as he looked to expand ties with New Delhi's traditional ally.

However, Washington is in a tricky position with India, seeking to bolster ties with the Asian giant to counter China's growing assertiveness, something which has also rattled New Delhi. Faced with public discontent, President Vladimir Putin proposed several measures - that were adopted by the State Duma - to soften the pension reform, including lowering the pension age hike for women to 60.

The conclusion of the S-400 agreement will complicate New Delhi's deepening strategic relations with Washington, given the latter's threat to impose economic sanctions on countries engaging in "significant transactions" (defined as above $15 million) with the Russian defense industry under US legislation known as the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).

After summit talks between Putin and Modi, the two countries signed eight agreements covering space, nuclear energy and railways at a televised news conference.

Putin said the two countries have agreed to step up cooperation in combating the menace of terrorism and drug trafficking.

Moscow is also pushing for India's entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group, a club of countries controlling access to sensitive nuclear technology. "Today we have taken decisions that will make our long term relations even stronger".

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