PM Modi in Moscow

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Prime Minister Modi last visited Russia for the 20th India-Russia Bilateral Summit held on the sidelines of the 5th Eastern Economic Summit…reports Asian Lite News

Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Moscow late Monday afternoon, kicking off a two-day visit to Russia — his first to the country since 2019 and first to its capital after 2015.

“I look forward to reviewing all aspects of bilateral cooperation with my friend President Vladimir Putin and sharing perspectives on various regional and global issues,” PM Modi said in his departure statement before leaving New Delhi.

He spotlighted that the Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership between India and Russia has advanced over the past 10 years, including in the areas of energy, security, trade, investment, health, education, culture, tourism and people-to-people exchanges.

Prime Minister Modi last visited Russia for the 20th India-Russia Bilateral Summit held on the sidelines of the 5th Eastern Economic Summit — where he was the guest of honour — at Vladivostok in September 2019.

A lot has changed in the region since then, especially after the start of the Russia-Ukraine war in 2022. However, the India-Russia Special and Privileged Partnership has remained resilient in the wake of multiple geopolitical challenges that the world has been facing.

New Delhi has maintained a steady relationship with Moscow even as PM Modi repeatedly asserted that no solution can ever be arrived at the cost of human lives and that escalation of hostilities and violence is in no one’s interest.

“We seek to play a supportive role for a peaceful and stable region,” mentioned PM’s departure statement on Monday.

Wit the Russian President hosting a private dinner for Prime Minister Modi later in the evening, the two leaders are expected to discuss a range of issues of regional and global importance of mutual interest.

On Tuesday, PM Modi will interact with the vibrant Indian community in Russia, lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in the Kremlin and thereafter visit the Rosatom pavilion at an exhibition venue in Moscow.

These engagements will be followed by a restricted-level talk between PM Modi and President Putin, which will then be followed by delegation-level talks.

“The issue of early discharge of Indian nationals who have been misled into the service of the Russian army is also expected to figure in the discussions. Other areas of interest would also include cooperation across the range of areas,” Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra said last week.

He highlighted that the India-Russia bilateral trade has seen a sharp increase in 2023-24 and has since touched close to $65 billion, primarily due to strong energy cooperation between the two countries.

“We also have growing investment ties between the two countries, including in the field of energy, banking, railways, and steel. These are the growing areas of our investment partnership. Russia also remains an important partner for India’s energy security and defence. In the area of nuclear energy, Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant units 1 and 2 have already become operational. And the work is progressing on units 3 and 6,” said the Indian Foreign Secretary.

All eyes will also be focused on the growing defence cooperation between the two countries as they continue to work closely across a full range of its sub-domains.

“Both sides are currently working on a series of outcome documents, which would be the result of the summit,” Kwatra stated last week.

After concluding his Moscow visit, PM Modi will travel to Austria on Tuesday which will be the first ever visit by an Indian Prime Minister to the country in 41 years.

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