Modi-Putin meet: Sochi throws up non-bloc security for Indo-Pacific

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin have agreed on the necessity of having a non-bloc security architecture in the Indo-Pacific region, according to people aware of the development, even as India is working with the US, Japan and Australia to bring stability for a rules-based order in the region. At an informal meeting in Sochi, the two leaders agreed that amid the current geo-political trends, a new architecture of security and cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region should be based on non-bloc principles, openness and equitable and indivisible security, the persons cited earlier told ET. It is also understood that Modi during his informal summit with Putin also emphasised on Russia’s pre-eminent role as a military supplier to India and mentioned India’s commitment to fulfil pending defence purchases including S-400 air defence system besides Kamov helicopters and frigates. The two leaders gave directions to technical teams to expedite the processes in keeping with annual summit here later this year. Delhi and Moscow have also decided to hold their maiden strategic economic dialogue in July in St Petersburg to push economic partnership. This will be preceded by visit of Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu for St Petersburg International Economic Forum. In energy sector LNG will emerge as the next big story, informed persons familiar with developments. Modi and Putin also agreed to a proposed document on fight against extremism, separatism and terrorism, to be signed at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in China next month. A great deal was said about the trends we observe in the Asia-Pacific region… The trends that can be observed in the Eurasian continent were mentioned precisely in this fashion,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is said to have told reporters in Sochi while highlighting key outcomes from the informal summit. Lavrov, a key Putin aide, was present at the restricted format meeting with the two leaders at the Russian Black Sea resort.