PM Modi to visit Russian Federation next week for informal summit with Putin

Mikhail Solunin  TASS

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) announced on Monday that Modi will travel to Sochi on May 21 for an informal summit to discuss wide-ranging issues with Putin.

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said it will be an important occasion for the two leaders to exchange views on global matters in a "broad and long-term perspective" with the objective of further strengthening special and privileged strategic partnership between the two countries.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will become the first head of state to travel to Russian Federation since President Vladimir Putin took the oath of office for a fourth term last week. The previous talks between the Russian president and the Indian prime minister were held in September 2017 on the sidelines of the BRICS summit in China's Xiamen. There had been some differences over Pakistan and Afghanistan, but it had never threatened the relationship, as per sources. Observers have termed the move significant to boost investments in India.


Informal summits are clearly the flavour of the season. "Instead, the focus" will be on discussions on the "big picture" globally, according to observers. "The trust can further help India to enhance its position in South Asia", Dr. Swarn Singh said.

Raghavan felt that the ongoing developments around the world required both countries to "affirm a mutual commitment" beyond the confines of a formal summit. India, with strong relations with both unfortunately might become collateral damage as United States and Russian Federation target each other in economic and military actions.

This message had to be conveyed against a backdrop of deteriorating US-Russia relations which has ignited a budding Russia-China alliance. Ever since the Trump administration chose to withdraw from the nuclear deal, alleging that Tehran is not fulfilling its commitments, the worldwide community has been working overtime to salvage the deal. The Prime Minister had met Putin in Russian Federation a year ago. This could impact India's acquisition of defence spares as well as other defence deals in the pipeline, like the S 400 anti-missile system. Last week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was in the Kremlin. Putin was sworn in for the fourth time as a Russian president.

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