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Putin To Court India Amid Strains With West

Russian President Vladimir Putin makes an official visit to India on December 11 that will produce Russian offers of increased participation in India's nuclear power industry, deliveries of liquefied natural gas (LNG), and possible membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

Putin has stepped up efforts to strengthen ties with non-Western nations amid severe strains in relations with the European Union and United States over the Kremlin's role in instability in Ukraine.

Russian presidential aide Yury Ushakov said in remarks published on December 9 that Russia and India plan to sign a strategic document on nuclear cooperation.

The "Times of India" has reported the deal foresees Russia building another six to eight reactors for India in addition to the 14 to 16 units already agreed upon.

Russian Ambassador to India Aleksandr Kadakin said the delegation accompanying Putin would discuss oil and LNG exports to India.

The arms trade will also be a focus of Putin's trip to India, a big buyer of Russian weapons.

Ushakov said Putin would discuss India's possible entry into the SCO, a regional security grouping dominated by Russia and China, at its summit in Russia next July.

Based on reporting by TASS, Interfax, and AFP