PM Modi to Visit Russia on July 8-9, His First Trip Since Ukraine War

PM Modi to Visit Russia on July 8-9, His First Trip Since Ukraine War

PM Modi last visited Russia in 2019 for the 20th India-Russia Annual Summit in Vladivostok.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Russia on July 8-9 to hold talks with President Vladimir Putin, the Kremlin announced on Thursday.

The discussions between Putin and Modi will focus on further developing bilateral ties and addressing international and regional issues, according to a statement from the Kremlin.

The Indian Ministry of External Affairs stated that PM Modi and Putin will exchange views on contemporary regional and global issues of mutual interest and review the entire range of multifaceted relations between the two countries.

A day earlier, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, referred to India as a “longtime friend of Russia.”

“We have relations of special privilege, strategic partnership with India. We cooperate in so many areas, and I think that will be a substantive conversation on the whole range of issues that our countries cooperate on,” Nebenzia said.

When asked about his expectations for the visit, Nebenzia said, “I expect Russian-Indian relations to blossom even better.”

Significance of the visit

This will be Modi’s first visit to Russia since its invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. The visit is significant given India’s nuanced diplomacy in balancing its ties with both Moscow and the West amid the ongoing conflict.

Modi’s last visit to Russia was in 2019 for the 20th India-Russia Annual Summit in Vladivostok.

Over the past two years, New Delhi has maintained a diplomatic stance balancing Russia and Ukraine. While it has not explicitly condemned the Russian invasion, India has called for an international probe into the Bucha massacre and expressed concern over nuclear threats from Russian leaders. At the UN Security Council, India has taken a nuanced position and abstained from voting against Russia in several resolutions.

India has strategic ties with Moscow and a strong dependence on Russia for defense supplies. Since the war began, India has also been purchasing Russian oil at discounted prices to mitigate the inflationary impact of rising oil prices.

The last in-person bilateral meeting between Modi and Putin occurred in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, on the sidelines of the SCO Summit in September 2022. During this meeting, Modi told Putin that “this is not the era of war,” a statement later echoed at the G20 summit in Bali in November 2022 and by other Western leaders to press Russia to end the conflict.


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