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India, Russia Exploring Possibility For PM Narendra Modi's Moscow Visit In Early July

Swarajya Staff

Jun 25, 2024, 08:11 PM | Updated 08:11 PM IST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi

India and Russia are exploring the possibility of Prime Minister Narendra Modi visiting Moscow in early July for discussions with Russian President Vladimir Putin according to a report from Hindustan Times .

If the visit occurs, it will mark Modi's first trip to Russia since 2019 and his first since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. Putin last visited India in 2021 for the annual India-Russia Summit, which hasn't been held for the past two years.

Although there has been no formal announcement, the same report indicates that Modi is expected to make a brief visit to Russia in early July, suggesting 8 July 8 as the date.

In Moscow, Yuri Ushakov, an assistant to the Russian president, confirmed preparations for Modi's visit, stating that both sides will announce the date once agreed.

"We are actively preparing. I will emphasise once again, this visit will take place," Ushakov said.

The trip is supposed to be an official visit rather than a State visit, focusing on meetings and discussions. Notably, India has not yet sent an "advance liaison team" to Russia, a prerequisite for any foreign visits by the prime minister.

Modi and Putin last met on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, on 16 September 2022, where Modi had urged Putin to return to dialogue and diplomacy to resolve the Ukraine conflict.

Since then, they have spoken several times, most recently on 5 June when Putin congratulated Modi on his election win.

The visit comes shortly after Modi has decided to skip the SCO Summit in Kazakhstan during 3-4 July, likely due to the ongoing parliamentary session and strained relations with China. External affairs minister S Jaishankar is expected to represent India at the SCO meet.

The proposed Moscow visit signals India's policy of strategic autonomy. Despite closer ties with the US and other Western nations, India has not publicly criticised Russia's invasion of Ukraine and has increased its purchase of discounted Russian crude.

However, India has also consistently called for a cessation of hostilities and a return to dialogue and diplomacy to resolve the Ukraine conflict.

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