10 July 2024

India’s Modi Makes Rare Visit to Russia Amid Strained Ties Over War in Ukraine


India’s prime minister begins a two-day visit to Russia on Monday, his first since Moscow launched its invasion of Ukraine, a war that has complicated the relationship between the longtime allies and pushed Russia closer to India’s rival China.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit will include a meeting with President Vladimir Putin, whom he last saw in Russia in 2019, in the far eastern port of Vladivostok. The two leaders also met in person in September 2022 in Uzbekistan, at a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization bloc.

Russia has had strong ties with India since the Cold War, and New Delhi’s importance as a key trading partner for Moscow has grown since the Kremlin sent troops into Ukraine in February 2022. China and India have become key buyers of Russian oil following sanctions imposed by the United States and its allies that shut most Western markets off to Russian exports.

Under Modi’s leadership, India has avoided condemning Russia’s war in Ukraine while emphasizing the need for a peaceful settlement.

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