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Modi, Putin begin bilateral talks on BRICS sidelines

 2016-10-15 07:17:45.0

goa-summit-talks-begin Benaulim (Goa): Prime Minister Narendra Modi and visiting Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday began a closed-door bilateral meeting ahead of BRICS heads of states meet in Goa. The two leaders are meeting as part of the annual India-Russia summit following which the two countries are expected to sign key defence, energy and agriculture-related business deals. External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said Modi and Putin "will discuss on a range of issues including defence, counter-terrorism". Earlier, Putin arrived at the Dabolim airport to a red carpet welcome after which Modi, on Twitter, greeted the Russian President saying: "India welcomes you, President Putin! Wishing you a fruitful visit." Top bureaucrats from the Russian defence, energy, trade and industries ministries are accompanying the President. Modi and Putin via video conference will also participate in foundation-laying ceremony of the third and fourth power units at the Kundakulam nuclear power plant. The two leaders are expected to hold discussions over lunch and issue a formal statement to the media following the summit. Talks between India and Russia for setting up units 5 and 6 of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP) are also expected to culminate into a general framework agreement. This could be announced after talks Modi-Putin. An official of the Russian atomic energy corporation Rosatom, the builders of KNPP, told on Friday that negotiations for units 5 and 6 had been expedited so that an announcement could be made during the BRICS leaders summit in Goa on October 15-16.(IANS)

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