Modi’s first visit to Moscow after the conflict in Ukraine

Modi’s first visit to Moscow: The visit is scheduled for Monday as Delhi is a major trading partner of Putin since the large-scale invasion of Ukraine.

The Kremlin has said Narendra Modi will visit Russia on July 8-9 and hold talks with Vladimir Putin, the first visit by an Indian prime minister to Russia since the invasion of Ukraine.

The Kremlin said in a statement that Modi and Putin would discuss “the prospects for further development of traditionally friendly Russian-Indian relations, as well as relevant issues of the international and regional agenda.”

Modi, who was re-elected for a third term in June, last visited Moscow in 2015. Since then he has met Putin several times at international summits and the leaders have often spoken by phone.

Monday’s visit is expected to reaffirm long-standing ties between the two countries, which date back to the Cold War. Russia is one of India’s most important trading partners, especially in terms of arms and defense.

India’s Ministry of External Affairs said the two leaders would “review the entire gamut of multidimensional relations between the two countries and exchange views on contemporary regional and global issues of mutual interest.” The summit is scheduled for July 9.

Delhi’s importance as a major trading partner of Moscow has increased since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022. India and China have become major buyers of Russian oil after sanctions imposed by the United States and its allies closed most of Western markets for Russian exports.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the BRICS summit in 2016.

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Under Modi’s leadership, India has refrained from condemning Russia’s actions in Ukraine and has instead emphasized the need for a peaceful solution.

However, the partnership between Moscow and Delhi has become strained since Russia began developing closer ties with China, India’s main rival, due to hostilities in Ukraine. Modi on Thursday skipped the summit of the security group created by Moscow and Beijing to counter Western alliances. Modi sent his foreign minister, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, to the annual meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in Astana, capital of Kazakhstan, which was also attended by Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping. Jaishankar said he had raised with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, the issue of the number of Indian citizens stranded on the front lines of the war in Ukraine, when at least two Indians died after being forced to fight for the Russian army. . Modi’s increasingly close ties with the United States have also strained relations with Russia. On Thursday, US Ambassador to India Eric Garcetti said his country is in constant contact with India to work together to hold Russia “accountable.” Modi last visited Russia in 2019 for an economic forum in the Far East port of Vladivostok. Putin last met Modi at the SCO summit in Uzbekistan in September 2022. In 2021, Putin also visited Delhi and spoke to the Indian leader.

In the early 1990s, the Soviet Union was the source of approximately 70% of the Indian Army’s weapons, 80% of its air force systems, and 85% of its naval platforms. But with Russian supply lines affected by fighting in Ukraine, India is reducing its dependence on Russian weapons and diversifying its defense purchases, buying more from the United States, Israel, France and Italy.


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