In a follow-up to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s trip to Moscow in December last, Russia and India are set for a round of intensive engagement, with a two-day visit by Nikolai Patrushev, Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation, beginning on Monday.

A fortnight later, another key Kremlin official and Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Sobyanin comes here. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin will arrive in March to sign agreements, including the umbrella civil nuclear pact agreed upon during Dr. Singh’s December summit with President Dmitry Medvedev.

Mr. Patrushev — his visit is stated to be part of the regular exchanges to discuss international security-related issues — will be the first head of a foreign Security Council to hold discussions with the new National Security Adviser, Shiv Shankar Menon, noted Russian Ambassador Alexander Kadakin.

Mr. Sobyanin, co-chair of the Russian-Indian Commission on trade, scientific and cultural cooperation, will arrive in time for the ‘Defexpo’ here, with a delegation of officials to further military and technical cooperation. The Deputy Prime Minister, recently appointed point man for India, will also take stock of the civil nuclear cooperation, and assess the suitability of Haripur, in West Bengal, as a site for Russian nuclear reactors.

According to a Russian Embassy release, talks between Mr. Patrushev and Mr. Menon are expected to focus on regional and international security, and development of multifaceted Russian-Indian cooperation in bilateral and multilateral formats.

“Regular meetings at this level have become one of the important components of high-level confidential contacts over the last years. As a rule, the agenda includes exchange of opinions on such urgent problems as fight against international terrorism, and illegal production of and trafficking in drugs. Tasks and prospects of interaction between special services in the interests of ensuring security of our two countries, regional peace and stability are also a matter for discussion.”

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