Russian President Vladmir Putin will pay an official visit to New Delhi on 6 December for the 21st India-Russia Annual Summit with PM Narendra Modi, the ministry of external affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said on Friday.

The leaders will exchange views on topical issues on the international agenda, including joint work within the G20, BRICS and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the Russian embassy said.

India and Russia have instituted an annual dialogue since 2000, with the New Delhi talks being the latest in that series. The India visit is a seen as a rare outing for Putin since the covid-19 pandemic began.

The two countries are also expected to hold their inaugural “2+2″ dialogue ahead of the Modi-Putin talks. Indian foreign minister S. Jaishankar and defence minister Rajnath Singh are to sit down with their Russian counterparts Sergey Lavrov and Sergey Shoygu ahead for the “2+2″ talks as well as the inter-governmental joint commission meeting, one of the people cited above said.

The defence ministry is also expected to decide on the finalisation of a deal worth over 5,000 crore with Russia for the manufacture of 7.5 lakh AK 203 assault rifles.

The India-Russia “2+2″ meeting was agreed to during a phone call between Modi and Putin in April. Russia is the fourth country that India will be holding joint foreign and defence ministerial talks with – the others being the US, Japan and Australia.

The two countries, seen as partners for decades, are also expected to sign agreements in the areas of technology and trade during Putin’s visit.

One of the pacts expected to be signed is a logistics support pact – along the lines of agreements India has with Japan and the US.

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