Putin turns to India with energy, defense offers, drawing his Asian neighbors closer

IndustriesAssociated Press

Russian President Vladimir Putin is holding talks with Indian leaders to strengthen trade and energy cooperation with Asia's third-largest economy as Western sanctions threaten to push his country's economy to the brink of a recession.

Putin's discussions Thursday with India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi are expected to focus us on deepening ties at a time when New Delhi is perceived to be drawing closer to the United States, especially in areas such as defense and investment.

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Indian officials said nearly two dozen agreements on space, defense cooperation and energy were likely to be signed.

"Looking forward to a productive visit that will take India-Russia ties to newer heights," Modi tweeted.

Putin's visit comes as Russia is faced with plunging global oil prices and a depreciating rouble.