Modi Putin
© Getty Images Sonu Mehta
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi shakes hands with Russian President Vladimir Putin during their meeting at Hyderabad House, on December 6, 2021 in New Delhi, India.
Russia and India have plans to work together across a range of military matters, including joint exercises, President Vladimir Putin revealed on Monday.

His comments came during a meeting with Narendra Modi, the Indian prime minister, in New Delhi to discuss the long-term partnership of their nations in a number of spheres, including energy, space travel, Covid-19 vaccine production, and medicine. Putin opened the discussions by explaining that the countries were planning to "develop relations in the international arena, as well as directly in the military sphere."

"We are conducting joint military exercises, in both Indian territory and Russian territory," he said. "We thank you for your attention to this component of our work. And we plan to work more in this direction."

The Russian leader also went on to say that his nation was collaborating on military technology with India more closely than with any other partner. "Together, we're working on developing high-grade military products and manufacturing, including in India," he said.

Earlier that day, leaders from both countries had concluded an agreement to collaborate on military technology from 2021 to 2030.

On the subject of Russia's relationship with India, Putin commented, "We treat India as a great power, with a people who are friendly to us, and with a remarkable history of relations between us."

Sergey Lavrov, Russia's foreign minister, also announced on Monday that Russia would like to involve India in discussions about Afghanistan along with China, Pakistan, and the US. "As far as we are concerned, there is every reason to engage countries such as India and Iran in the group's activities," the Russian top diplomat said.

Mammoth 99-point list provides glimpse into state of Russian-Indian relations
Putin Modi
© Reuters / Sputnik / Mikhail Klimentyev
Russia's President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting with India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi, India on December 6, 2021.
The joint Russian-Indian statement, released on the Kremlin website after the Monday talks, contains 99 points highlighting the ongoing and planned cooperation between the two countries.

Some 28 new agreements - business deals and state-to-state program documents - were signed during the talks.

The two leaders "appreciated the resumption of the positive trajectory of bilateral trade, with trade registering an increase of about 38% in the first half of 2021 compared to the same period in 2020 despite the pandemic-related restrictions," the joint statement reads.

Trade in pharmaceutical products remains "one of the main items of India's exports to Russia," with the two countries seeking to bolster their cooperation in the field even further.

The Covid-19 crisis has, in fact, provided more opportunities for the nations to cooperate, with the two leaders expressing "gratitude to each other's countries for timely assistance during the pandemic."

India's Serum Institute, which is the world's largest vaccine maker, has been making a localized version of Russia's pioneering Sputnik V vaccine, aiming to produce 300 million doses a year.

Military cooperation remains among the centerpieces of Russia-India ties. During Putin's visit, the two countries finalized the deal to produce some 600,000 AK-203 assault rifles in India, with the continued supply of S-400 anti-aircraft systems being on the table as well.

"Military and military-technical cooperation has traditionally been the pillar of special and privileged strategic partnership between India and Russia," the statement reads, noting that it is currently "reorienting presently to joint research and development, co-development and joint production of advanced defense technology and systems."

Producing sophisticated military and civilian hardware has been one of the cornerstones of Modis' policies for years, and Moscow has been a major contributor in that endeavor.

"The Indian side encouraged participation of Russian companies in the 13 key sectors ... under the 'Atmanirbhar' and 'Make in India' program," the statement reads.

Nuclear energy, oil and joint development of trade routes were some of the other key areas Putin and Modi have agreed to reinforce. The two leaders have noted "significant progress achieved in the construction of the remaining nuclear power plant units at Kudankulam," carried out by Russian specialists, and pledged to cooperate further in the conventional energy field.

"The sides reaffirmed their commitment for increasing sourcing of Russian crude oil on long term contracts through preferential pricing, strengthening LNG imports to India, and the possible utilization of the Northern Sea Route for energy supplies," the statement reads.