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Breaking: Modi Russia Visit to Redefine Indo-Russian Relations

Modi Russia Visit 2024 Analysis

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi heads to Moscow to pay attention to Russia-China relations

New Delhi — Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to visit Russia for a two-day summit with President Vladimir Putin to strengthen ties between the two countries amidst Russia’s deepening relationship with India’s rival, China. The summit aims to reaffirm the importance of the Indo-Russian relationship and ensure that growing ties between Putin and China do not impact relations with India.

Despite concerns about Russia’s ties with China, India remains dependent on Russian weapons and aims to address trade imbalances during the visit. The meeting between Modi and Putin is crucial for both leaders to showcase their strategic partnership and maintain stability in the region.

Key Concepts

  • India and Russia aim to strengthen ties through a two-day summit.
  • Russia’s relationship with China poses challenges for India.
  • The summit between Modi and Putin seeks to reaffirm the Indo-Russian relationship.
  • India remains neutral on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
  • The focus of the India-Russia relationship is on defense and energy cooperation.
  • India aims to reduce trade deficit with Russia.
  • Putin’s visit to India is to show he is not isolated by Western sanctions.
  • India values its relationship with Russia due to security concerns.
  • Modi’s visit to Russia aims to stabilize the relationship amidst growing ties between Russia and China.
  • Modi will also visit Austria, marking a significant diplomatic move.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will pay a two-day visit to Russia on Monday (July 8) to strengthen relations between the two countries, as Moscow has deepened ties with New Delhi’s main rival, China.

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Analysts in New Delhi say India’s scheduled summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday will help dispel perceptions of deteriorating ties with a long-standing ally as it forges a closer partnership with the United States.

Chintamani Mahapatra, the founder of the Kalinga Indo-Pacific Institute, told VOA, “India’s goal is to emphasize the importance of India-Russia relations and ensure that Putin’s growing relationship with China It will not affect relations with New Delhi.”

He added, “This is why it is extremely important to continue dialogue with Russia at the highest level.”

The summit will be the first since Russia invaded Ukraine, and New Delhi has maintained a neutral stance on the issue, neither condemning the war nor joining Western sanctions on Moscow.

Although the leaders of India and Russia have held annual summits since 2000, they have not been held since Putin visited New Delhi in 2021.

Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar called the summit “something that will happen” and stressed that the two countries “have a strong history of cooperation.”

Analysts say Modi’s first visit to Russia in five years will focus on strengthening ties that have stood the test of time.

Sreeram Chaulia, dean of the Jindal School of International Affairs, told VOA, “I don’t think this will set a course for a future-proof or pioneering partnership, with many new initiatives and outcomes. “

“It’s about maintaining the relationship, maintaining the ties that we have, making sure that we maintain the trajectory of our defense and energy cooperation,” he said.

While India has diversified its military hardware purchases in recent years, it remains reliant on Russian weapons – about one-third of India’s defense imports come from Moscow, down from two-thirds five years ago. But since the invasion of Ukraine began, concerns have grown over Russia’s ability to provide parts and ammunition.

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Meanwhile, India increased its purchases of cheap Russian oil after the invasion of Ukraine, leading to a boom in bilateral energy trade. But Moscow’s exports to India total $65 billion, compared with only about $4 billion, sparking concern in New Delhi.

“Trade continues to be unbalanced and that is a priority for us to discuss with the Russian side,” Indian Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra told reporters when announcing Modi’s visit on Friday. He said India wanted to promote trade in different areas. Exports, including agricultural products, technology, medicines, and services, to reduce trade deficit.

Analysts believe the visit is important for Putin because it emphasizes that he is not isolated by Western sanctions. Some pointed to the political implications of his meeting with Modi as a NATO summit takes place in Washington on Tuesday focusing on security concerns in Ukraine and the Indo-Pacific region.

Russia’s TASS news agency reported on Saturday that Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Russia expects Prime Minister Modi to make a “very important and mature visit” that is “so important for Russia-India relations.”

Analysts said Modi’s visit would not cause concern in Washington. Mahapatra believes that India has so far been able to maneuver between the United States and Russia.

U.S. Deputy Secretary Kurt Campbell said at an online briefing before the announcement of the India-Moscow summit on June 26 that the United States had “some concerns” about India’s engagement with Russia on military and technological matters, but Washington believes and trusts New Delhi to advance the U.S.-India partnership in key areas.

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Analysts say that while India has actually strengthened ties with the United States, its hostile neighbors make Russia important in its geostrategic calculations.

The four-year military standoff between India and China on their disputed border shows no sign of ending, continuing to worry New Delhi.

“It is important for India that Russia does not side with China in any conflict between India and China,” Mahapatra said. “This will only happen if Russia considers India to be an important country in their geopolitical calculations.” ”

However, since Russia is heavily dependent on Beijing after being isolated by Western countries, India will face challenges in trying to balance China. During Putin’s visit to China in May, the two countries pledged to strengthen a partnership that has flourished since the outbreak of the war in Ukraine.

“We realize that China will remain a major ally for Russia, but India wants to make sure that China does not completely dominate,” Cholia said. “We don’t want Russia to become a secondary partner to China because we will then Be surrounded by adversaries across Eurasia, it is in our interest to do everything we can to stabilize Russia.”

After Modi visits Moscow, he will travel to Austria, the first visit by an Indian prime minister in more than 40 years.

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