Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Putin's visit to boost Delhi-Moscow ties

The Russian leader starts his visit to Delhi from Wednesday. He will hold talks with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday.
Russia has been "miffed" with India after Delhi chose to purchase Rafale fighters and American Apache attack helicopters over Moscow's defence products, The Times of India says.
India, on the other hand, has been "angry" with Russia for selling attack helicopters to Pakistan, the paper adds.
Experts feel the friendship between the two countries that dates back to the Soviet era faces new challenges due to changing "geopolitical circumstances".
"The geopolitical circumstances that bound India and Russia close together for so long have begun to change. The structure of the partnership, too, is looking less special amid extended stagnation," prominent columnist C Raja Mohan writes in The Indian Express.
Mr Mohan feels India may find itself in a difficult position if the difference between the West and Russia continue over recent events in Ukraine.
"If Moscow continues to fight with the West and draw closer to China and Pakistan, there is a real danger that India's long-standing romance with Russia might turn sour," he adds.
The Times of India, similarly, says "gone are the days of Nehruvian socialism when India and the erstwhile Soviet Union shared a special relationship.
"Faced with the realities of 21st century geopolitics, both countries need to view two-way ties through the prism of pragmatism," the paper adds.
Nonetheless, papers are hopeful that Mr Putin's visit will add fresh impetus to energy, nuclear and other areas of cooperation.
The Hindustan Times says that Mr Putin's "vision of a transformed Indo-Russian relationship…could see joint development of advanced weapons, cooperation in hi-tech areas ranging from nuclear power to space, and New Delhi benefiting from Moscow's plans to be Asia's 'reliable' energy supplier".
The Times of India adds that "optimists hope the two leaders would take decisions to override bureaucratic delay on a number of issues".
And finally, Indian-administered Kashmir saw 58% turnout in the third phase of state elections despite calls for boycott by separatists, The Hindu reports.
"Though the turnout was not as impressive as in the first two phases, there was increased participation in areas that traditionally boycott polls," the paper says.
Results will be announced on 23 December after the completion of all five phases.

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