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July 9, 2024, 10:40 a.m.
Modi's balancing act as he meets Putin in Moscow
Modi's balancing act as he meets Putin in Moscow
['India', 'Modi', 'Moscow', 'Russia', 'Ukraine']

Mr Modi's visit coincides with a Nato summit, where Russia's invasion of Ukraine will be a major theme.

Modi's balancing act as he meets Putin in Moscow

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is being keenly watched by his Western allies as he meets Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on his first foreign trip since he returned to office for a third term in June. A video of a smiling Mr Putin calling Mr Modi "My dearest friend" and telling him that he was "Delighted to see him" has gone viral in India. India, a key global economy, has close ties with both Russia and the US and its partners and officials in Delhi are playing down questions over the timing of Mr Modi's trip. Mr Modi told President Putin that India was ready to offer any assistance in establishing peace in Ukraine. Nato countries have been vehemently opposed to Moscow's invasion of Ukraine, while India and Mr Modi have refrained from any explicit criticism of President Putin except calling for dialogue and diplomacy to resolve the conflict. As Western nations try to isolate Moscow by imposing sanctions, President Putin has been having summit-level meetings with leaders of key nations like China, India, Turkey and others. India's exports to Russia stand at just $4bn. Indian officials say a key priority for Mr Modi will be to address this trade imbalance and encourage Russian investment in India as well as moving some defence production to India.

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