PM Modi Leaves For Russia To Meet With President Vladimir; Terms Of Defence, Sustainability And Security To Be Discussed

PM Modi Leaves For Russia To Meet With President Vladimir; Terms Of Defence, Sustainability And Security To Be Discussed

India's proactive efforts to ensure its strategic relevance and influence in a multipolar world order are being strengthened by Modi's visit to Russia, which is intended to uphold India's national interests in energy, security, defense, and regional stability.

Manasi KambleUpdated: Monday, July 08, 2024, 05:38 PM IST
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Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, with PM Narendra Modi | File

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to visit Russia for a meeting with President Vladimir Putin on Monday and Tuesday. This marks their first face-to-face meeting since Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, which led to extensive sanctions from Western nations. Despite previous interactions totaling 16 meetings since Modi assumed office as Prime Minister, their last in-person engagement was during the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok in September 2019. President Putin's most recent visit to India occurred in December 2021 for their annual bilateral summit.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's upcoming visit to Russia underscores the enduring significance of the India-Russia relationship, particularly in the realms of energy and defense. Amidst global geopolitical shifts, India aims to maintain robust ties with Moscow while navigating its broader foreign policy objectives.

Modi's visit to Russia aims to reinforce historical ties while safeguarding India's national interests in defense, energy security, and regional stability. The visit underscores India's proactive approach to shaping a multipolar world order, ensuring its strategic relevance and influence.

Reaffirm Relations With Russia

Modi's decision to prioritize Russia for his first bilateral visit of his current term breaks the tradition of visiting neighboring countries first. This choice signals India's intent to reaffirm the importance of its longstanding partnership with Russia amidst evolving global dynamics. Despite Western sanctions following Russia's actions in Ukraine, India continues to prioritize stability and strategic cooperation with Moscow.

Defence Partnership

The defense sector remains a cornerstone of the India-Russia partnership, rooted in historical ties dating back to the Cold War era. A significant portion of India's defense equipment, ranging from tanks to fighter jets, originates from Russia. Over time, the relationship has evolved beyond mere arms sales to encompass joint development and production, reflecting deep mutual trust in defense cooperation.

Energy Cooperation Amidst Global Pressures

In response to fluctuating global energy markets, India has increased its purchase of Russian oil, even amidst international scrutiny. This move has significantly boosted bilateral trade, surpassing earlier expectations. Despite concerns raised by Western allies, India has emphasized the economic imperatives guiding its energy policies, asserting its independence in strategic decision-making.

Diplomatic Balancing Act

India's stance on the Ukraine conflict exemplifies its diplomatic balancing act. While refraining from direct condemnation of Russia, India has called for international investigations into specific incidents. This nuanced approach aims to uphold principles of international law while maintaining dialogue with all stakeholders. India's abstention from certain UN resolutions underscores its commitment to impartial diplomacy amidst global tensions.

Mediator Role and Regional Dynamics

Modi's engagement with both Russian President Putin and Ukrainian President Zelenskyy positions India as a potential mediator in the conflict. This role reflects India's commitment to regional stability and conflict resolution through dialogue and diplomacy. While not participating in recent peace summits, India has engaged in bilateral discussions aimed at humanitarian concerns and peaceful resolutions.

Navigating Global Alliances

In parallel to its engagements with Russia, India has strengthened ties with Western nations, as evident from recent interactions at forums like the G7. These engagements highlight India's strategic maneuvering, balancing relationships with traditional partners and emerging alliances. The diversification of India's diplomatic engagements underscores its evolving role in global geopolitics.

Sustaining Strategic Independence

Prime Minister Modi's visit to Russia symbolizes India's commitment to maintaining robust and multifaceted ties with Moscow amidst evolving global challenges. By prioritizing defense cooperation, navigating energy dynamics, and pursuing balanced diplomacy, India aims to secure its strategic interests while contributing to global stability and peace.

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