Landed In Moscow, PM Narendra Modi Posts Ahead Of Bilateral With Vladimir Putin Tomorrow

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives in Moscow

    New Delhi:

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Moscow this evening, marking the first time he visited Russia since it launched its campaign in Ukraine. Russia’s First Deputy Prime Minister Denis Manturov received him at the airport.

    “I look forward to further deepening special and privileged strategic partnership between our nations,” PM Modi said after landing in Moscow. He will hold talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin tomorrow.

    Mr Putin hosted a private dinner for PM Modi tonight ahead of tomorrow’s 22nd India-Russia summit in Moscow.

    “PM is set to hold substantive discussions with President Vladimir Putin to take forward the special partnership between the two countries. He will also interact with the Indian community in Russia,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal said on X.

    PM Modi has been treading a fine line between maintaining a longstanding relationship with Moscow and courting closer Western security ties. The visit is also PM Modi’s first since he returned to power for a third term.

    “I look forward to reviewing all aspects of bilateral cooperation with my friend President Vladimir Putin and sharing perspectives on various regional and global issues,” PM Modi had said in a statement before leaving India. “We seek to play a supportive role for a peaceful and stable region.”

    Russia is a key supplier of cut-price oil and weapons to India. Western powers have in recent years also cultivated ties with India as a bulwark against China and its growing influence in the Asia-Pacific, while pressuring it to distance itself from Russia.

    PM Modi last visited Russia in 2019 and hosted Mr Putin in Delhi two years later, weeks before Russia began its offensive against Ukraine.

    Sources said the focus of the visit is economic agenda – energy, trade, manufacturing, and fertiliser – and that a solution cannot be found on the battlefield.

    India and Russia have maintained a close relationship since the Cold War, and Russia was for a long time India’s largest arms supplier. But Ukraine has stretched Russia’s arms supplies thin. Russia’s share of Indian imports of arms has shrunk considerably in recent years, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

    At the same time, India has become a major buyer of Russian oil, providing a much-needed export market for Moscow after it was cut off from traditional buyers in Europe. That has dramatically reshaped energy ties, with India saving itself billions of dollars while bolstering Moscow’s war coffers.

    India’s month-on-month imports of Russian crude “increased by eight per cent in May, to the highest levels since July 2023”, according to commodity tracking data compiled by the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air.

    From Russia, PM Modi will travel to Vienna for the first visit to the Austrian capital by an Indian leader since former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1983.

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