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Modi’s Visit to Russia Highlights Strategic Partnership Amid Ukraine Conflict and International Scrutiny

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent visit to Russia, at the invitation of President Vladimir Putin for the 22nd India-Russia Annual Summit, comes amidst heightened international scrutiny over India’s ties with Moscow following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The visit, Modi’s first since the conflict began in February 2022, underscores India’s longstanding strategic partnership with Russia, despite pressures from the United States and others to distance itself from Moscow. During his visit, Modi and Putin held an informal meeting at Putin’s residence, where they discussed bilateral relations and strategic cooperation.

The United States has been vocal in expressing concerns to India about its relationship with Russia, urging countries engaging with Moscow to uphold Ukraine’s sovereignty and international norms. This diplomatic pressure reflects broader Western efforts to isolate Russia economically and diplomatically in response to its actions in Ukraine.

Modi's Visit to Russia Highlights Strategic Partnership Amid Ukraine Conflict and International Scrutiny

Modi’s Visit to Russia Highlights Strategic Partnership Amid Ukraine Conflict and International Scrutiny

Despite these pressures, India has maintained that its ties with Russia are based on mutual interests, historical connections, and economic considerations, emphasizing the need for a peaceful resolution to the Ukraine conflict.

Modi’s discussions with Putin focused on enhancing cooperation across various sectors, including defense, energy, and technology. Putin praised Modi’s leadership and India’s economic progress, highlighting Modi’s reelection as prime minister and his efforts in advancing India’s global standing.

The informal nature of their meeting underscored the personal rapport between the two leaders, with Putin hosting Modi at his countryside residence, Novo-Ogaryovo, near Moscow, a gesture reserved for select dignitaries.

The visit also provided an opportunity for Modi to reaffirm India’s commitment to its traditional alliance with Russia, while also exploring avenues for deeper collaboration in emerging areas such as space exploration and cybersecurity.

Modi’s public statements following the meeting emphasized the importance of strengthening bilateral ties to foster greater economic growth and regional stability. The visit symbolizes India’s delicate balancing act in navigating global geopolitical dynamics while maintaining its strategic autonomy and longstanding partnerships.

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