PM Modi to visit Russia for talks with President Putin: Report

PM Modi to visit Russia for talks with President Putin: Report

New Delhi/Moscow, June 25 : Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Moscow to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin, a Kremlin official said on Tuesday. The meeting, likely early next month, comes just days after PM Modi assumed office for a third consecutive term.

RT news, quoting Putin’s foreign policy aide, Yuri Ushakov, said the exact dates are not yet public, and both the parties will announce them jointly.

Russian news agency TASS reported, citing sources, that it will be a two-day visit.

Modi’s trip to Moscow is also significant as it is a standalone state visit. The two leaders will also be able to meet later this year on the sidelines of the BRICS leaders’ summit in Kazan, Russia.

The Russian President invited Prime Minister Modi to Moscow during External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar’s visit to Russia in December 2023. “[Modi and I] will be able to discuss all current issues and talk about the prospects for the development of Russian-Indian relations,” Putin said at the time.

According to the declaration on strategic partnership between the two countries, the leaders are to meet annually. In 2020, however, a summit could not be held due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Putin visited New Delhi in December 2021.

Later, the two leaders met separately during the September 2022 Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Samarkand. Modi’s last visit to Russia was in 2019, when he attended the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok.

Putin called Modi earlier this month to congratulate him on the success of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led NDA alliance in the parliamentary elections. Modi also congratulated Putin earlier this year after he won his fifth term as president.

India and Russia have maintained robust ties despite scrutiny from the US and its allies over the Ukraine conflict. Trade turnover increased sharply in 2023, reaching a record $65 billion, largely driven by Indian purchases of coal and oil.

Earlier this month, India distanced itself from the document issued at the Ukraine summit in Switzerland regarding Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s ‘peace formula’, which was rejected by Russia. New Delhi stressed that only a solution acceptable to “both the parties” can achieve lasting peace in Ukraine.

Modi’s visit comes amid US efforts to engage with New Delhi following his recent election victory. US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan flew to India last week in the first high-level visit from Washington after PM Modi took office for the third time. US President Joe Biden also met with Modi on the sidelines of the G7 summit.

Significantly, PM Modi’s visit comes as Russia has okayed a draft logistics agreement with India.

The two sides have been negotiating a Joint Military Deployments, which is essentially a Reciprocal Exchange of Logistics (RELOS) deal, for the past few years.

According to Sputnik, the agreement is on the procedure for mutual dispatch of military formations, warships and military aircraft of the Russian Federation and India. The relevant order was posted on the website of the official publication of legal acts.

The draft agreement was developed by the Ministry of Defence, coordinated with the Russian Foreign Ministry and other federal authorities, and preliminarily worked out with the Indian side.

UNI

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