NEW DELHI: Russian President Vladimir Putin’s was at his quintessential best in announcing surprise plans to make sweeping constitutional reform. Russia specialist Nandan Unnikrishnan discusses the Russian leader’s motives and whether he looks at himself as a ‘leader for life’ with StratNews Global Associate Editor Amitabh P. Revi. In a comprehensive review of India-Russia relations, the interview looks at President Putin’s options, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s bilateral visit to India and his speech at the ‘Raisina Dialogue’, reviews the India-Russia summit in Vladivostok and its outcomes, defence deals, the S-400 air defence system and how India deals with potential U.S. sanctions, energy cooperation and training of India’s Gaganyaan cosmonauts.
Nandan Unnikrishnan is a Distinguished Fellow at Observer Research Foundation, New Delhi. He looks after the Eurasia Programme of Studies. An alumnus of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), he began his career as a journalist with the Press Trust of India (PTI). After 15 years in PTI culminating with a three-year posting to Moscow as the Bureau Chief, he moved to Business India’s Television Channel TVI. He joined TVI as the News Coordinator for International Affairs, rising to head the channel by 1998. He specialises in Russia, Central Asia and other former Soviet territories.