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20 Mar, 2024 11:55

Modi calls Putin, agrees to ‘deepen and expand’ ties with Moscow

The Indian leader has congratulated the Russian president on securing his fifth term in office
Modi calls Putin, agrees to ‘deepen and expand’ ties with Moscow

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin exchanged views on the “dynamically developing” trade and investment ties between the two nations, as well as international issues, including the situation in Ukraine, the Kremlin said on Tuesday.

During a telephone call following Putin’s landslide victory in the recent presidential election, the leaders also committed to further coordination in multilateral formats, including the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and BRICS.

“Spoke with President Putin and congratulated him on his re-election as the President of the Russian Federation. We agreed to work together to further deepen and expand India-Russia Special & Privileged Strategic Partnership in the years ahead,” Modi said in a post on X (formerly Twitter).

According to the Kremlin, Tuesday’s telephone call was “warm and friendly,” and Putin wished Modi success in the upcoming parliamentary elections. India will hold an election in seven phases beginning on April 19, and the Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is widely expected to win, giving the prime minister a third straight term.

Earlier this week, the Indian leader congratulated Putin on securing his fifth term in office and hailed the relationship between the two BRICS nations. Modi said he looks forward to working together to strengthen the “time-tested partnership” in the upcoming years. 

Modi and Putin last spoke in January, days after Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar visited Russia. During the visit, the Russian leader formally invited Modi to Moscow.

India continues to maintain close trade and diplomatic ties with Russia despite increasing Western scrutiny and allegations of bypassing unilateral sanctions imposed by the US, EU, and allies against Moscow. New Delhi has abstained from voting on UN General Assembly resolutions condemning Russia over the Ukraine conflict. 

Last year, trade turnover between the two countries reached an all-time high of $65 billion. While it has been achieved by ramping up energy trade, Russia also remains India’s largest arms supplier, accounting for around 36% of New Delhi’s arms imports from 2019 to 2023.

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