New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Russia on 21 May for an informal summit with Russian president Vladimir Putin in the summer beach resort of Sochi amid US sanctions against Moscow that might impact Russian military supplies to India, particularly an estimated Rs 40,000-crore deal to buy the sophisticated, long-range S-400 air defence system.
Modi will be travelling to Russia at Putin's invitation, the government said on Friday.
The prime minister's previously unannounced visit comes after National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale visited Moscow last week to discuss a way out of the US sanctions on Russian firms.
The sanctions against Russian oligarchs and companies, including Rosoboronexport, the state-owned Russian weapons trading company, has raised concerns in India about a possible impact on India's military buys from Moscow.
Rosoboronexport has long-standing significant contracts and business ties with India and other countries.
At the heart of the current India-Russia military ties is a multi-billion dollar deal for five S-400 long-range surface-to-air missile systems — billed as a game changer by the Indian military for its ability to counter ballistic missiles and stealth aircraft like those China is developing.
The two countries signed an agreement in principle for the S-400 deal in 2016.
The sanctions under the Count...