Stepping up economic engagement and further expanding ties in strategic areas are likely to be the centerpiece of the 16th India-Russia annual summit talks, which are the second such between PM Modi and President Vladimir Putin besides deliberating on various global issues like situation in Syria and tackling threat of terrorism.
Setting the tone for the visit, PM Modi said Russia remained one of India's 'most valued' friends in the world and that he was 'very optimistic' about outcomes of the talks with Putin tomorrow.
"Our relation with Russia is unique, covering almost every field of human endeavour," Modi said in a pre-departure statement in New Delhi.
The talks between the two countries, bound by 'special and privileged strategic ties', have been taking place alternately in Moscow and New Delhi since 2000.

Click here: Very optimistic about Russia visit, says PM Narendra Modi

"I am very optimistic about the outcome of this visit. History is witness to the close ties India and Russia have had over the decades. Russia remains one of India's most valued friends in the world," Modi said in a Facebook post.
He further said: "My visit will deepen the cooperation between India and Russia in the economic, energy and security spheres. We also want to increase cooperation in science and technology, mining among other sectors.
"Trade ties between India and Russia can increase even further, to benefit not only our two nations but also the world."    On the first day of Modi's arrival in Russia amid Christmas festivities, Putin will host a private dinner for the Prime Minister tonight. The two leaders will interact with
a group of Indian and Russian CEOs tomorrow in Kremlin.

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