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‘West Watching With Jealousy’: Kremlin On PM Modi’s Russia Visit



‘West Watching With Jealousy’: Kremlin On PM Modi’s Russia Visit

Moscow: Russia is expecting a “very important and full-fledged visit” by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Moscow for summit-level talks with President Vladimir Putin, with the Kremlin saying the West was watching the trip with “jealousy”.

Prime Minister Modi will be in Moscow from July 8 to 9 at the invitation of President Putin for the 22nd India-Russia Annual Summit. It will be PM Modi’s first visit to Russia since its invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

The two leaders will review the entire range of multifaceted relations between the two countries and exchange views on contemporary regional and global issues of mutual interest, the Ministry of External Affairs said in New Delhi on Thursday while announcing the high-level visit starting on Monday.

The programme of Prime Minister Modi in Moscow will be extensive and the two leaders will be able to have informal talks, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in an interview with Russia’s state-run VGTRK television channel on Saturday.

“Obviously, the agenda will be extensive, if not to say overbusy. It will be an official visit, and we hope that the heads will be able to talk in an informal way as well,” he said.

Mr Peskov said that Russian-Indian relations are at the level of strategic partnership. He said that there would be both one-on-one talks in the Kremlin and those involving delegations.

“We are expecting a very important and full-fledged visit, which is so crucial for Russian-Indian relations,” he was quoted as saying by the official Tass news agency.

Mr Peskov also emphasised that the West is closely and jealously watching Prime Minister Modi’s upcoming visit to Russia.

“They are jealous — that means they are closely monitoring it. Their close monitoring means they attach great importance to it. And they are not mistaken, there is something to attach great importance to,” Mr Peskov said in response to a question about the jealous attitude of Western politicians towards PM Modi’s visit to Russia, the Tass report said.

Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022, PM Modi has held several telephonic conversations with Mr Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, stressing the importance of ending the war that has impacted the global economy.

In reflection of its strong friendship with Russia, India has not yet condemned Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine and it has been maintaining that the conflict must be resolved through diplomacy and dialogue.

India’s import of discounted Russian crude oil has also gone up significantly notwithstanding the G7 price cap and increasing disquiet over the procurement in many Western capitals.

It will be PM Modi’s first visit to Russia in nearly five years. His last visit to Russia was in 2019 when he attended an economic conclave in the Far East city of Vladivostok.

The annual summit between the Prime Minister of India and the president of Russia is the highest institutional dialogue mechanism in the strategic partnership between the two countries.

So far, 21 annual summits have taken place alternately in India and Russia.

The last annual summit was held on December 6, 2021, in New Delhi when Mr Putin visited India. 

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