What is Modi going to do on July 8? America is surprised, China is worried

New Delhi and Moscow are exploring the possibility of a visit by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on July 8-9. Sources said preparations are underway for the possible visit but there has been no official confirmation from either side about the trip. The Ukraine war is set to escalate and this will be Modi’s first visit to Russia after Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022. It is also considered significant given India’s smart diplomacy on relations with Moscow and the West. Modi last visited Russia in 2019 when he went to Vladivostok for the 20th India-Russia annual summit.

Preparations are underway

Russian President’s assistant Yuri Ushakov said that preparations are being made for Modi’s visit to Russia. We cannot tell the date yet. However, this has not been confirmed by India. If this visit happens, it will be the first visit of an Indian PM to Russia in five years. Meanwhile, Modi spoke to Kazakhstan President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev. Both reiterated their commitment to furthering the bilateral strategic partnership.

Ukraine-Russia war and India

New Delhi has maintained a diplomatic balance between Russia and Ukraine amid the two-year-long war between Kiev and Moscow. Although it has not explicitly condemned the Russian invasion, it has called for an international investigation into the Bucha massacre and expressed concern over nuclear threats issued by Russian leaders. India has taken a neutral stand in the United Nations Security Council and has abstained from voting against Russia in several resolutions.

10 Telephone conversation

A standalone visit will be on the lines of the annual bilateral summit between the Indian and Russian leaders that has been going on since 2000. So far, India and Russia have had 21 annual summits alternately. The 21st summit was in New Delhi in December 2021. Since then, Modi and Putin have maintained regular contact through at least 10 telephone conversations to review progress on bilateral cooperation and exchange views on regional and global issues of mutual interest.

Advice from the age of no war

India has strategic ties with Moscow and has a deep dependence on Russia for defence supplies. India has also been buying Russian oil at discounted prices to mitigate the inflationary impact of rising oil prices since the war began. The last in-person bilateral meeting between the two leaders was in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, on the sidelines of the SCO summit in September 2022. It was then that Modi told Putin that “this is not an era of war.

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