Indian PM Modi Visits Moscow Amid Critical Talks with President Putin

Indian PM Narendra Modi arrives in Moscow for talks with President Vladimir Putin amid critical discussions on bilateral ties and global issues.
Indian PM Modi Visits Moscow Amid Critical Talks with President Putin

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has embarked on a significant two-day visit to Moscow, where he is scheduled to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss various bilateral and global issues. This visit marks Modi's first trip to Russia since 2019, highlighting the importance of India-Russia relations despite recent geopolitical challenges.


According to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, Modi and Putin will have an informal one-on-one meeting on Monday evening, offering them an opportunity for unrestricted discussions on a wide range of topics.


"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," Modi stated in a pre-visit statement.


The backdrop of Russia's ongoing conflict in Ukraine adds complexity to the bilateral relationship between Moscow and New Delhi, which have historically shared strong ties since the Cold War era. Despite Russia's diplomatic and economic isolation, exacerbated by the Ukraine conflict, India remains a crucial partner for Moscow.


India's strategic concerns include Russia's deepening ties with China, a regional rival, particularly evident during Modi's absence from a recent SCO summit led by China in Kazakhstan. Indian officials and experts have expressed cautiousness regarding Russia-China relations amid China's assertiveness in the region.


The economic dimension of India-Russia relations is substantial, with trade expected to reach approximately $65 billion for the 2023-24 fiscal year. However, India's trade balance heavily favors Russia, with significant imports including coal, fertilizer, vegetable oil, precious metals, and a substantial portion of India's oil and armaments.


Despite these economic ties, India has maintained a neutral stance on Russia's actions in Ukraine, refraining from public condemnation. Reports of Indian citizens unknowingly joining the Russian army and being involved in the conflict highlight a sensitive issue for Modi's government, expected to be addressed during his visit to Moscow.