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Jun 18, 2007 at 05:46am IST

Trilateral between India, China, Russia?

New Delhi: As President Putin comes to India on a very important visit, many agreements will be signed and it will perhaps also set a positive tone for the upcoming trilateral meeting between India-Russia and China.

From the days of socialism and steel mills, to now importing Vodka and Sukhoi, the Indo-Russia relationship has endured the turbulence of times.

The two sides are now set to ink more historic deals - including Russia's plans to sell India four new nuclear reactors when Putin arrives as the chief guest at the Republic day celebrations.

But while bilateral relations couldn't be better- the two countries have an eye on what could be an important trilateral relationship between India, China and Russia.

"In the 21st century we are moving towards what might be called a balance of powers relationship between the world's six principle players, so in this hexagon of six powers, the relationship between India and Russia has a certain texture, a strategic texture," says senior analyst, IDSA, Uday Bhaskar.

India will host a tripartite meeting of the foreign ministers of the three countries on February 14, 2007 in New Delhi.

The first of these meetings was held in St. Petersburg, at the sidelines of the G-8 summit.

In a joint statement the three foreign ministers said that the three share a common approach to "key global developments" of the 21st century.They agreed to co-operate on matters of transport, agriculture, energy and high technology.

If this great eastern axis is to be realised, many differences between India and China, and Russia and China still need to be sorted out, apart from circumventing stiff opposition from the US. One step down that long road could be taken on Putin's visit to India.

(With inputs from Daisy Kumar in New Delhi)

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