Russia to sign anti-missile deal with India

Two countries agree to set up network of irradiation centres for food products

Gulf News

Moscow/New Delhi: Russian President Vladimir Putin will seal a deal with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during an upcoming visit to deliver Moscow’s most advanced air defence system, the Kremlin said on Thursday.

“An agreement on the delivery of S-400 ‘Triumph’ anti-missile defence systems and other deals will be signed as a result of the talks,” Russian news agencies quoted Putin aide Yuri Ushakov as saying, without specifying a timeframe.

Putin will meet Modi in the Indian state of Goa on Saturday on the sidelines of the BRICS Summit involving the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

The Kremlin earlier this week said the talks with Modi would focus on “a wide range of matters of bilateral relations, especially trade and economic ties.”

The S-400 is Russia’s most modern air defence system and has been deployed to Syria, where Moscow is conducting a bombing campaign in support of long-time ally Syrian President Bashar Al Assad.

The system can track some 300 targets and shoot down around three dozen simultaneously over a range of several hundred kilometres.

India has signed a series of key defence deals under Modi as part of a $100 billion (Dh367 billion) upgrade of its Soviet-era military hardware, making it an attractive proposition for arms exporters.

In September, after nearly a decade of discussions and setbacks, India signed a deal to acquire 36 French Rafale fighter jets for €7.9 billion (Dh32 billion) to bolster its military against an increasingly assertive China.

Meanwhile, Russia and India on Thursday signed an agreement to set up a network of integrated infrastructure for irradiation centres for food products, the Russian State Atomic Energy Corporation (Rosatom) said.

An agreement to this effect was signed on the sidelines of the BRICS Business Forum in New Delhi by the United Innovation Corporation (UIC), a subsidiary of Rosatom, and the Indian Agricultural Association Hindustan Agro Co-Op Limited, a Rosatom statement said.

“Radiation treatment of food products is one of various applications of state-of-the-art radiation technologies offered by Rosatom to its foreign partners. The use of this technology will make it possible to reduce the loss of onions in India, which currently go bad because of germination and inadequate storage, by 42,000 tonnes per year on an average, as well as to reduce grain losses from 15 per cent to 3-5 per cent per year,” Denis Cherednichenko, CEO of the United Innovation Corporation, was quoted as saying in the statement.

“As of today, 22 countries, including the UK, France, Germany, Finland, Japan, China, South Korea and India are using about 515 radiation plants based on Russian technologies,” he emphasised.

“Russia has a wide experience in this field; it has also been our reliable partner for a long time, and we hope that this project will not only make us closer to the solution of global problems in the sphere of sustainable development, but will also help India to become a centre of radiation technologies in the Asian region,” Bharat Dhokane Pandurang, Chairman, Hindustan Agro Co-Op. Ltd., was quoted as saying in the statement.

The first stage includes construction and commissioning of seven radiation treatment centres in India.