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Roving Periscope: The West “jealous” of PM Modi’s Russia visit, claims Moscow

Roving Periscope: The West “jealous” of PM Modi’s Russia visit, claims Moscow

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Virendra Pandit

New Delhi: Trying to drive a wedge between India and the West, ahead of the November presidential election in the US, Russia on Monday claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s two-day visit to Moscow is a matter of “jealousy” in the West.

Russia eagerly anticipates a “very important and full-fledged visit” from PM Modi as he prepares for Summit-level talks with President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, a trip the Kremlin suggests the West eyes with ‘jealousy’, the media reported.

After a gap of five years, PM Modi is visiting Russia on July 8 and 9, following an invitation from President Putin to partake in the 22nd India-Russia Annual Summit. This marks his first visit to Moscow since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

During the Summit, the two leaders will delve into the breadth of India-Russia relations and discuss pressing regional and global issues, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in New Delhi.

In Moscow, PM Modi’s schedule will be packed, offering opportunities for both formal and informal dialogues. Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin spokesman, noted in a VGTRK television interview on Saturday that the two leaders anticipate extensive discussions, emphasizing the significance of their informal exchanges.

“Obviously, the agenda will be extensive, if not to say overbusy. It will be an official visit, and we hope that the heads will be able to talk in an informal way as well,” Peskov said.

He also highlighted the deep-rooted and traditional strategic partnership between India and Russia, as he cited the scheduled one-on-one and delegation-level talks at the Kremlin.

“We are expecting a very important and full-fledged visit, which is so crucial for Russian-Indian relations,” the Tass news agency quoted him as saying.

Peskov also hinted at the West’s keen interest in PM Modi’s visit, highlighting its significance.

“They are jealous — that means they are closely monitoring it. Their close monitoring means they attach great importance to it. And they are not mistaken, there is something to attach great importance to,” Peskov explained, addressing Western attitudes towards the high-profile visit.

Despite the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, PM Modi has maintained communication with both President Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskyy, advocating for the war’s resolution and emphasizing its impact on the global economy.

India’s stance reflects its enduring relationship with Russia, as it has not condemned Moscow’s actions and advocates for a diplomatic resolution to the conflict. Additionally, India’s purchase of discounted Russian crude oil has surged, despite the G7’s price cap and growing concern in Western capitals.

This visit, PM Modi’s first to Russia in nearly five years, follows his 2019 trip to Vladivostok for an economic forum.

Historically, the annual summit, which alternates between India and Russia, serves as the pinnacle of dialogue in their strategic partnership. The previous meeting was held on December 6, 2021, in New Delhi, during President Putin’s visit.


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