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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Indian Prime Minister in Town to Boost Military, Business Ties

ReutersIndian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee inspecting soldiers in Moscow on Tuesday.
Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee arrived in Moscow on Tuesday for a three-day visit intended to strengthen military and business ties between the longtime allies.

Vajpayee was expected to meet with President Vladimir Putin later Tuesday and continue their talks Wednesday, Itar-Tass reported. It will be their fourth meeting in less than a year.

Putin and Vajpayee are expected to discuss cooperation in military development, bilateral political concerns regarding the Central Asian region and boosting trade relations, the Indian prime minister's office said in a statement.

Russian officials have said that a "substantial set of documents" will be signed, Interfax reported.

The Press Trust of India noted that the agreements will focus on nuclear energy, earthquake research, banking and sharing space technology.

Russia exported $4.8 billion worth of weapons last year, with China and India topping the list of customers. An Indian oil company is also involved in the Sakhalin-1 oil project, while Russia is helping to build two light-water reactors at the Kudankulam nuclear power plant in southern India.

The Nuclear Power Ministry has said it is interested in working on further nuclear energy projects with India.

Last week, India successfully tested its Brahmos cruise missile system, a joint project with Russia. Earlier this year, India and Russia jointly held a large-scale naval exercise.

India and Russia have long had close relations. New Delhi is one of the biggest buyers of Russian arms.

After leaving Russia, Vajpayee is scheduled to visit Tajikistan and Syria.