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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

India Trip Focuses on Terror, Business

APPutin meeting with students Tuesday at Peking University, where he declared Russia and China are "two unique world civilizations."
NEW DELHI, India -- President Vladimir Putin arrived in New Delhi on Tuesday evening for a two-day visit expected to reinforce relations with India by condemning Islamic terrorists and boosting strategic and economic ties.

Putin attended a state banquet with Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on Tuesday before meeting with other leaders and businessmen Wednesday.

Coming from China, where he and Chinese President Jiang Zemin signed a declaration calling for a "multipolar world" -- a phrase that expresses discontent with U.S. global dominance -- Putin was expected to sign a similar declaration with India.

Russia and India have said Washington uses a double standard with India's neighbor and rival Pakistan when it comes to cracking down on terrorism.

Putin aide Sergei Prikhodko told Itar-Tass on Tuesday that the two countries would sign declarations regarding their strategic partnership and economic, scientific and technological cooperation. He said the Russian and Indian foreign ministries were to sign a memorandum on the fight against global terrorism.

Indian officials said the two countries could sign protocols on joint development of a new generation of fighter jets and a passenger-transport aircraft to replace the aging An-32 fleet of the Indian air force, the independent Press Trust of India news agency reported.

Nuclear Power Minister Alexander Rumyantsev said Russian experts would help build more nuclear reactors in India. Russia already is helping India construct two nuclear reactors for the Kudankulam power plant in the southern state of Tamil Nadu. The first reactor is due to be completed by 2007.

Police increased security in India's capital, saying they feared Islamic fundamentalists might try to target Putin.

India's naval chief on Monday declined to confirm reports that India and Russia were to complete an arms package that includes the three-year lease of a Russian Akula II-class nuclear submarine. A submarine would give New Delhi a new edge over Pakistan by giving India a so-called nuclear triad -- the capability of delivering nuclear weapons from the air, ground and sea.

Putin also was expected to discuss Afghanistan, the Middle East and Iraq during his visit, which ends Thursday morning, said Kanwal Sibal, a senior official in India's External Affairs Ministry.

Before leaving Beijing, Putin told some 650 students at Peking University that Russia and China are "two unique world civilizations" with a responsibility to promote global security.

He also said Moscow could deepen its cooperation with NATO if the alliance focuses on fighting terror and other growing security threats.

Jiang sat beside Putin at the university, exchanging praise with the Russian leader and telling the audience that Russia and China are "good neighbors, good partners and good friends."

Putin presented the university with a book by Jiang, in Russian, about socialism in China.

"Putin has a lot of vigor. I really admire him," said 18-year-old Zhang Wei. "He answered the questions very well and seemed knowledgeable."

Putin on Tuesday also visited the Great Wall, where he was given a small piece of the landmark.