Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has been to India several times over, is probably on his most critical trip to Delhi amid fast changing geo-political scenario. Amid growing Western sanctions Moscow is aligned with Beijing like never before and much to dismay in Delhi has entered into a military partnership with Pakistan. Other the hand India and USA are hoping to realize full potential of their partnership. However, India\'s refusal to be party to Western sanctions will be music to Putin\'s ears. In an interview with ET\'s Dipanjan Roy Chaudhury, the Russian President pointed out that PM Modi is personally committed to promote bilateral ties and announced that Moscow will sign a new agreement with Delhi for setting up 24 nuclear reactors besides inviting India for hydrocarbon investments in Siberian and Artic regions. You have met Prime Minister Modi a few times now. What is your personal opinion of him? How is interacting with him different from his predecessors? As the President of the Russian Federation, I have been to India five times. I particularly remember my visit in October 2000, when we signed the historic Declaration on Strategic Partnership with the Indian partners. With regard to my contacts with Prime Minister of India, Mr. Narendra Modi, that is true, we became acquainted on the sidelines of the BRICS Summit in Brazil this July. We also had meaningful conversations in Brisbane (Australia) in November at the meeting of the Heads of State and Government of the BRICS countries and during the G20 summit.
I note with satisfaction the commitment of the Indian leadership to searching for new promising areas of cooperation. I am convinced that the common aspiration to further develop our bilateral relations will help to achieve significant results at the upcoming Indian-Russian Summit. I am convinced that we will continue this fruitful work together with the new government in order to expand our multifaceted and mutually beneficial contacts, especially given the fact that as far back as he was the Chief Minister of Gujarat state Mr. Narendra Modi visited several times the Astrakhan Region, which has since established fraternal relations with that Indian state. Thus, today, we are happy to see friendly India to be led by a reputable political leader, who has already made a significant personal contribution to the promotion of the Russian-Indian cooperation. We look forward to discussing specific steps aimed at strengthening the privileged strategic partnership between Russia and India. We will devote particular attention to expanding trade and economic links and boosting mutual investments. Serious preparatory work has been done during the past sessions of the Inter-Governmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technological and Cultural Cooperation and the Indo-Russian Forum on Trade and Investment (New Delhi, November 5, 2014). Joint strategic projects include the construction of new units for Indian nuclear power plants, promotion of Russian Sukhoi Superjet-100 and MS-21 aircraft to the Indian market, introduction of the GLONASS system in the sectors of the Indian economy. Our priorities include building a butyl rubber plant, helicopter manufacturing, creating \"a smart city\" on the basis of Russian technologies, organizing assembly of industrial tractors.
India gets serious about domestic defence production, allowing foreign investment and encouraging private Indian companies, Russia would seem to be behind the US and Israel in terms of future joint ventures and big ticket deals. Can Indo-Russian defence ties ever get back their past strength? We attach particular importance to the development of military and technical cooperation that is one of the main components of our strategic partnership. We will discuss in detail the current projects in this most important sphere related not only to the export of ready-made equipment but to close technological and industrial cooperation as well.We already have examples of such effective cooperation, by which I mean the production of high-precision up-to-date BrahMos missiles and creation of a multifunctional fifth-generation fighter aircraft