Issue of Indians serving in Russian Army expected to figure in Modi-Putin talks: FS

Issue of Indians serving in Russian Army expected to figure in Modi-Putin talks: FS

New Delhi, July 5: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to take up the issue of the “early discharge” of Indian nationals serving in the Russian Army on the Ukraine war front, during his summit talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra said here today.

“The issue of early discharge of Indian nationals who have been misled into the service of the Russian army is also expected to figure in the discussion,” the Foreign Secretary said at a special briefing ahead of PM Modi’s visit to Russia and Austria from July 8-10.

Prime Minister Modi will arrive in Moscow in the late afternoon on July 8, and President Putin will host a private dinner for him.

The following day, PM Modi will have an interaction with the Indian community in Russia, and as part of the programme he will lay a wreath at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

There will be restricted level talks between the two leaders followed by delegation level talks. He will leave for Vienna in the afternoon of July 9.

“The 22nd India-Russia annual summit talks will provide an opportunity to the two leaders to review the whole range of bilateral issues, including defence, trade linkages, investment ties, energy cooperation, science and tech, education, culture and people to people exchanges,” said the FS.

“They will also exchange perspectives on global and regional developments of mutual interest,” he added.

The PM is expected to take up the issue of Indian nationals who have been duped into serving in the Russian army and being made to fight in the Ukraine war, said Kwatra.

He said that India and Russia have a special and privileged partnership since 2020 which has remained resilient in the wake of multiple geopolitical challenges in the world – referring to the Ukraine conflict and the resultant Western sanctions on Russia.

He said the bilateral trade is more than USD 60 billion, which is heavily skewed in favour of Russia.

The trade imbalance is a matter of priority in discussions with Russia, he added.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will pay an Official Visit to Russia from July 8-9 for a bilateral summit with President Vladimir Putin, and then go to Austria July 9-10, in the first visit by an Indian Prime Minister to Austria in 41 years.

UNI

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