Russia-Ukraine War

Balancing Ties Amidst Ukraine War and Shifting Alliances

Main image to the post Balancing Ties Amidst Ukraine War and Shifting Alliances

India's Prime Minister Modi Visits Russia Amidst Ukraine War and Shifting Alliances

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi embarked on a two-day visit to Russia on Monday, marking his first trip to the country since the start of the Ukraine war. This visit comes at a time when India's relationship with Russia has become increasingly complex, navigating the delicate balance between maintaining ties with a long-standing partner and addressing concerns over the war and Russia's growing closeness to China, India's rival.

Modi's visit includes a meeting with President Vladimir Putin, their first in-person encounter since 2019. This meeting takes place against the backdrop of Russia's deepening ties with China, a development that has caused unease in India. Notably, Modi skipped the recent Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Kazakhstan, where both Russia and China were present.

Despite the complexities, India remains reliant on Russia for both trade and defense. Russia is a major supplier of oil and military equipment to India, with over 40% of India's oil imports and 60% of its military equipment originating from Russia. However, the war in Ukraine has disrupted supply chains, prompting India to diversify its defense procurements and seek alternative energy sources.

During the visit, discussions are expected to focus on strengthening trade ties, particularly the development of a maritime corridor between India's Chennai port and Russia's Vladivostok. Additionally, the two leaders are likely to address the ongoing war in Ukraine and India's neutral stance on the conflict.

Modi's visit to Russia signifies the intricate balancing act India is undertaking in the face of the Ukraine war and the shifting geopolitical landscape. While maintaining close ties with Russia remains important for India's energy and defense needs, concerns over the war and Russia's alignment with China necessitate a cautious approach. The outcome of this visit will be closely watched as it could provide insights into the future trajectory of India-Russia relations.

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May 21, 2023 | 05:09