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During talks with Putin, PM Modi will focus on trade imbalance and the situation of Indian soldiers

During talks with Putin, PM Modi will focus on trade imbalance and the situation of Indian soldiers

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s forthcoming visit to Moscow will focus on resolving India’s economic imbalance with Russia and securing the release of Indians deceived into participating in the conflict in Ukraine, a senior official stated on Friday. The visit, scheduled for July 8-9, is part of the annual summits between New Delhi and Moscow, which began in 2000. Modi is set to meet with President Vladimir Putin during this visit.

Concerns have been raised about the timing of Modi’s visit, which coincides with the NATO summit in Washington, DC, from July 9-11. The NATO summit is expected to focus largely on the ongoing war in Ukraine. Despite these concerns, Indian Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra clarified that Modi’s visit to Moscow is purely a scheduling priority and not connected to the NATO summit. He emphasized that the visit is part of the planned summit calendar between the two nations.

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Historically, India has maintained strong ties with Moscow dating back to the Soviet Union era. However, India’s geopolitical and economic relations have increasingly leaned towards the West, especially Washington, as it liberalized its economy. Despite this, India has continued to purchase Russian oil at record levels and has refrained from condemning Russia over the Ukraine conflict. Instead, India has urged both Russia and Ukraine to resolve their differences through dialogue and diplomacy.

The visit underscores India’s complex diplomatic balancing act as it navigates its longstanding relationship with Russia while strengthening ties with Western nations. Modi’s engagement with Putin is expected to address key economic issues and humanitarian concerns, reflecting India’s nuanced approach to international relations amidst the Ukraine war.