Osaka: The decision to purchase S-400 missile defence system from Russia did not figure during the talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump, India said Friday, though they discussed ways to step up the bilateral military cooperation.
The S-400 is known as Russia’s most advanced long-range surface-to-air missile defence system. China was the first foreign buyer to seal a government-to-government deal with Russia in 2014 for the system.
India and Russia signed a USD 5 billion S-400 air defence system deal in October last year.
Modi, who is in Osaka for the G20 Summit, met Trump after the Japan-America-India trilateral meeting. This was their first meeting after the BJP’s landslide win in the parliamentary election.
The meeting assumes significance as Trump, championing his ‘America First’ policy, has been a vocal critic of India for levying ‘tremendously high’ duties on US products.
Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said that India purchasing S-400 missile defence system from Russia did not come up during the talks between the two leaders.
“This was a very open and productive meeting. The two leaders had a very warm discussion. President Trump congratulated Prime Minister Modi on his victory and Prime Minister in particular noted that Trump had sent a very warm letter to him through Secretary of State (Mike) Pompeo,” Gokhale said.
According to the Foreign Secretary, four Issues were taken up during the bilateral meeting.
“The issues were related to Iran, 5G, trade and defence relations. As far as Iran was concerned, the Prime Minister outlined our energy concerns as well as concerns regarding peace and stability in the region,” Gokhale said.
“Modi also recalled that India has deployed some of the Indian Navy ships in the region to protect the Indian flagged vessels passing through the Gulf,” Gokhale said.
“The President expressed his hope that the oil prices remain stable and discussed what the US was doing to ensure that stability is maintained in the Gulf,” the Foreign Secretary said.
“Both sides also agreed that they will remain in touch on the issue of Iran and how to ensure regional peace and stability,” he added.
The US in the past has warned that New Delhi’s deal to procure the lethal missile system from Moscow will have ‘serious implications’ on India-US defence ties.