Relations with Russia Strengthen as Modi Meets with Putin – Unlock the Editor’s Digest for the Latest on India’s Diplomatic Talks

Moscow, Russia – Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to engage in formal discussions with Russian President Vladimir Putin to strengthen ties and address concerns about Russia’s alignment with China. The two leaders had an informal meeting on Monday at Putin’s residence in Novo-Ogaryovo, Moscow, and are expected to continue talks on Tuesday.

Modi expressed enthusiasm about the visit through a social media post, describing it as a significant opportunity to enhance the bond between India and Russia. However, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy criticized Modi’s trip, referring to Putin as “the world’s most bloody criminal.” Zelenskyy’s comments came in the wake of a Russian attack in Ukraine that resulted in multiple casualties, including children.

India’s relationship with Russia has become vital as Western sanctions against Russia have led Moscow closer to China. Despite India’s efforts to remain neutral in the conflict, it continues to rely on Russia for arms supplies and oil. The visit marks Modi’s first visit to Russia since the invasion of Ukraine in 2022, with the Kremlin praising India for choosing Russia as the destination for Modi’s first bilateral visit following his recent re-election.

The trade between India and Russia has seen a significant increase, especially in oil purchases. However, the sanctions have posed challenges for Moscow in repatriating oil revenue due to restrictions on currency exchange. Concerns have also been raised about potential future sanctions targeting the fleet shipping Russia’s oil, which could impact countries like India.

As India solidifies its economic and military cooperation with the West, its reliance on Russian arms imports has decreased. This shift underscores India’s efforts to diversify its sources of military technology beyond Russia. Modi’s visit serves as a reminder of India’s evolving alliances and strategic priorities in the global geopolitical landscape.

During the visit, Modi is expected to address issues such as Indian citizens unintentionally conscripted into the Russian army to fight in Ukraine and Moscow’s increasing reliance on Chinese supplies for its arms industry. Despite the longstanding relationship between India and Russia, concerns remain about the sustainability of their partnership amidst changing geopolitical dynamics.

Analysts suggest that India’s balancing act between Russia and China reflects its strategic interests and national security considerations. The evolving dynamics in the region highlight the complex challenges India faces in navigating its relationships with key global players.