Putin heads to India for talks focusing on economy, trade

Russia's President Vladimir Putin arrives in India Monday on a visit intended to cement Russia's positions in the Indian market and reinvigorate political ties.

Following Putin's talks with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and other Indian officials, Moscow and New Delhi will sign agreements on economic, science, education and law enforcement cooperation.

While the volume of Russian-Indian trade has risen sixfold since 2000 and is expected to reach $10 billion this year, the growth has slowed in recent years. Even though India remains the No. 1 customer for Russia's arms industries, Moscow has recently lost several multibillion-dollar contracts to Western weapons-makers.

Russia and India have shared close ties since the Cold War, when Moscow was a key ally and the principal arms supplier to New Delhi.