Putin speaks to Modi
Russian President Vladimir Putin had a phone conversation with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday, the Kremlin has announced. The leaders reportedly discussed bilateral ties and noted progress in various fields such as trade, the economy, and scientific and technical cooperation, as well as energy, transport and logistics.
Bilateral trade between Russia and India has experienced rapid growth in recent years, with experts predicting that annual turnover could double by the end of the decade and reach as much as $100 billion. India has become a top buyer of Russian oil and coal since 2022, in the wake of Western sanctions.
According to a statement released on the Kremlin’s official website, Modi expressed India’s readiness to contribute in “every possible way” to the implementation of the goals and objectives of the Russian chairmanship of BRICS, which officially began on January 1 and will last throughout the year.
“A number of international issues were also touched upon, including the situation in Ukraine,” the statement read, concluding that the two leaders have agreed to maintain personal contact.
Last month, Putin also held talks with Indian External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar in Moscow, where he invited Modi to visit Russia personally.
Putin told Jaishankar that he would be glad to meet with Modi, who he described as a friend, in person to discuss deepening bilateral relations as well as current global issues, particularly the ongoing Ukraine conflict.
“We are aware of Prime Minister Modi’s position [... and] his stance regarding complex processes, including [global] hotspots and the situation in Ukraine. I have repeatedly briefed him on the situation regarding this conflict. I know his desire to do everything possible to resolve this issue through peaceful means,” Putin said at the time, offering to discuss these issues “in more detail” during closed-door talks.
Jaishankar stated in response that he was positive that the Russian and Indian leaders would be able to meet in person at some point in 2024.