Panaji: Russian President Vladimir Putin today arrived at INS Hansa base in Goa for the BRICS summit, after a delay of more than nine hours due to bad weather, making it difficult for his plane to land in the coastal state.
Putin, who finally landed here around 10.20 AM was scheduled to arrive at 1.30 AM, but his flight had to be diverted to Mumbai due to visibility issues.
Thick fog had enveloped the areas around INS Hansa base causing the delay, a senior naval official told PTI.
Putin was received at the base by Union Minister of State for Ministry of External Affairs V K Singh and Goa Deputy Chief Minister Francis D’Souza.
Putin became the third head of state after South African President Jacob Zuma and Brazilian President Michel Temer to arrive here for the BRICS summit.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had reached the state last night.
All the Presidents were offered a red carpetwelcome by Indian Navy at INS Hansa, a naval base near Dabolim airport.
The base is home to several fighter plane squadrons attached to Indian Navy.
Earlier this morning, Modi took to Twitter to welcome all the heads of states, who arrived for the BRICS summit and BIMSTEC outreach meet in Goa.
“India welcomes you, President Putin! Wishing you a fruitful India visit,” he tweeted early this morning even as Putin’s flight was diverted to Mumbai.
The tweet was repeated in Russian language by the Prime Minister.
South African President Jacob Zuma was also greeted with a tweet by the Prime Minister.
“A warm welcome to you, @SAPresident. Looking forward to fruitful deliberations in the coming days,” Modi said.
Giving an Indian touch to his tweet welcoming Brazilian President Michel Temer, who was the second head of state to arrive here, Modi tweeted, “Namaste Presidente @MichelTemer! Welcome to India for the @BRICS2016 summit.”
The Prime Minister was received at the airport last night by Governor Mridula Sinha, Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar and others. He was welcomed at the resort in South Goa’s Benaulim village by Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj.