India’s Prime Minister Modi Strengthens Ties with Russia Amid China Rivalry – What You Need to Know!

Moscow, Russia – India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi embarked on a two-day visit to Moscow, marking his first trip to Russia since the country deployed troops into Ukraine. The visit is crucial as it comes amidst the evolving dynamics between Russia and India, who have long been strategic partners, with Russia now drawing closer to India’s rival, China.

During his visit, Modi met with Russian President Vladimir Putin at his residence outside Moscow before engaging in talks at the Kremlin the following day. The two leaders have maintained a close relationship, with their previous meetings in 2019 and 2022 reflecting the importance of their partnership. Modi took to social media to express his anticipation in further strengthening the Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership between India and Russia.

Despite Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine, the bond between Russia and India remains robust, bolstered by India’s significant role as a key trading partner. As Western sanctions impede Russian exports in most markets, countries like India and China have emerged as crucial buyers of Russian oil. India now relies on Russia for over 40% of its oil imports, highlighting the deepening economic ties between the two nations.

While Modi has refrained from publicly denouncing Russia’s actions in Ukraine, India has emphasized the importance of seeking a peaceful resolution. However, tensions between India and Russia have escalated, particularly as Russia aligns more closely with China. Modi’s decision to skip the recent Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Kazakhstan underscores India’s effort to distance itself from forums dominated by Russia and China.

Looking ahead, defense cooperation is expected to be a key focus of discussions between Modi and Putin, with India seeking to diversify its defense procurements amid delays in Russian military deliveries following the Ukraine conflict. The two nations are working towards a military logistics agreement that could bolster defense exchanges and cooperation.

On the international front, Putin’s limited foreign travel in recent years has prompted speculation that Modi’s visit could help boost the Russian leader’s global influence. Trade development, particularly plans to establish a maritime corridor between Chennai and Vladivostok, is set to feature prominently in discussions to further strengthen economic ties between India and Russia.

The visit underscores the deep-rooted relationship between India and Russia, despite the shifting geopolitical landscape in the region. As both nations navigate the complexities of global politics, their partnership continues to evolve, with a focus on enhancing cooperation in defense, trade, and strategic interests.