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India’s Modi to visit Russia for first time since Ukraine war, underscoring Delhi-Moscow ties

The Kremlin’s foreign policy aide, Yuri Ushakov, announced Modi’s trip on Tuesday, saying the exact dates of the visit will be confirmed later. Tass news service reported earlier that the Indian leader was set to spend two days in the country in early July.

India’s Ministry of External Affairs declined to comment when contacted for further information.

India and Russia share deep economic and political ties, which have remained strong despite sanctions against Moscow from the US and other Western governments after the 2022 invasion of Ukraine.

India, the world’s third-largest crude consumer, is a major buyer of discounted Russian oil. Moscow remains India’s biggest supplier of military hardware, accounting for 36 per cent of India’s arms imports, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

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Xi welcomes ‘old friend’ Putin to Beijing, affirms strength of China-Russia bond

New Delhi has avoided criticising Russia for invading its neighbour, and has advocated diplomacy to resolve the conflict. Modi skipped an annual in-person summit with Putin in December 2022 after the Russian leader threatened to use nuclear weapons in his war against Ukraine.

Almost a year later, Putin failed to attend the Group of 20 leaders’ summit in Delhi, which helped Modi forge a consensus statement on the invasion among the other members, including the US, which sought tough criticism of Russia.

Read more on scmp.com