Modi and Putin's High-Stakes Moscow Meeting;Indian Families Demand Justice for Duped Soldiers;Modi's Russia Visit: Trade, Defense, and Diplomacy:Modi Briefing20240709

Welcome to our Modi Briefing program, I’m your host: Liang Jun. Today, we dive into Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s significant visit to Russia, where he is set to meet President Vladimir Putin. This visit marks Modi’s first trip to Russia since the Ukraine invasion began, and it’s expected to focus on discussing a peaceful resolution to the conflict, among other pressing issues. The stakes are high as both leaders navigate their countries’ strategic interests and diplomatic relations.

In a related development, families of Indian men allegedly tricked into fighting for Russia are urging Modi to press for their return. These individuals were promised lucrative jobs in Moscow but ended up on the front lines in Ukraine. With at least four deaths reported, the families are hoping Modi’s discussions with Putin will lead to their loved ones’ safe return. This issue highlights the complex human dimensions of international conflicts and the responsibilities of global leaders.

Lastly, Modi’s visit isn’t just about diplomacy; it’s also about trade and defense. India relies heavily on Russian oil and military supplies, especially with Western sanctions limiting options. Modi is expected to discuss furthering defense cooperation and trade development, including the potential establishment of a maritime corridor between Chennai and Vladivostok. These talks are crucial for both nations as they seek to strengthen their economic and military ties while navigating a complicated geopolitical landscape. Please stay tuned for detailed coverage.

Yahoo US

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Russia marks his first since the onset of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine over two years ago. The Indian foreign ministry in New Delhi has indicated that Modi will address the Russia-Ukraine conflict during his discussions with President Vladimir Putin. The focus will be on striving for a peaceful resolution and the return of Indian citizens coerced into working for the Russian army under false pretenses. Approximately 30 to 45 Indians are believed to be involved. Modi’s agenda includes a banquet with Putin and a subsequent trip to Austria. Modi emphasized the importance of these visits in deepening ties with nations India regards as long-standing friends. Russia remains a crucial energy supplier for India, with discounted Russian oil sales helping fund Putin’s war efforts due to Western embargoes.

CBC

Prime Minister Modi’s visit to Moscow also aims to address the plight of Indian citizens allegedly duped into fighting for Russia in Ukraine. India, a significant buyer of Russian energy and weaponry, claims that some of its citizens were lured to Moscow with the promise of higher-paying jobs but were instead coerced into military service. Among the victims is Mohammed Asfan, a former clothing store manager from Hyderabad, who was misled into signing a military contract and subsequently killed in Ukraine. His brother, Mohammed Imran, has been vocal about the issue, urging Modi to secure the return of these men. The Indian government has been investigating a human trafficking network responsible for sending men to Russia under false pretenses. The situation has strained India-Russia relations, with Modi’s visit intended to press for the return of Indian citizens and highlight India’s neutral stance on the Russia-Ukraine war.

Al Jazeera

Modi’s two-day visit to Moscow, his first since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, underscores the complex dynamics between India and Russia amid the latter’s closer ties with China. Modi’s agenda includes a dinner with Putin and discussions on bilateral cooperation and regional stability. Despite Western sanctions, Russia remains a key supplier of discounted oil and weapons to India, which now sources over 40% of its oil imports from Russia. The partnership has been tested by Russia’s growing alignment with China and the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. Modi’s visit aims to reinforce India’s strategic ties with Russia, focusing on defense cooperation and trade development, including a proposed maritime corridor between Chennai and Vladivostok. Modi’s trip also follows his absence from a recent summit in Kazakhstan, reflecting India’s nuanced stance on the Ukraine conflict and its efforts to balance relations with both Russia and Western powers.

CNN

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Russia on Monday for his first visit since the onset of the Ukraine war, highlighting the enduring bond between the two nations despite Russia’s increasing reliance on China. During his two-day visit, Modi is set to dine privately with President Vladimir Putin and engage in comprehensive talks. The summit aims to address a broad spectrum of bilateral issues and global developments of mutual interest. Despite India’s calls for peace in Ukraine, it has refrained from condemning Russia’s invasion, maintaining a strategic neutrality that allows it to continue purchasing discounted Russian crude oil. This economic relationship has resulted in a trade volume of nearly $65 billion in 2023-24, predominantly benefiting Russia. Modi’s visit, his first bilateral trip after securing a third term, underscores India’s complex geopolitical stance, balancing relations with both Russia and Western allies like the United States, especially in light of Russia’s growing closeness with China.

The Independent

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Russia, his first since the Ukraine invasion, is a symbolic gesture that underscores India’s ability to navigate the East-West divide. Modi’s itinerary includes informal talks over dinner with Putin, followed by a day of meetings. The visit aims to reaffirm the “resilient” ties between the two nations, despite India’s discomfort with Russia’s deepening ties with China. India has historically relied on Russia for arms and has significantly increased its purchase of Russian oil since the war began. However, India’s strategic landscape is shifting, with Modi emphasizing the need for a balanced relationship that also considers India’s ties with the West. Analysts suggest that the visit is as much about optics for Putin, who seeks to showcase international support, as it is about substantive outcomes. Modi’s trip signals India’s intent to maintain its strategic autonomy and leverage its position as a potential peace broker in the Ukraine conflict, while ensuring a steady supply of energy and military equipment from Russia.

The Globe and Mail

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s two-day visit to Russia marks his first since the Ukraine invasion, reflecting the complexities of the India-Russia relationship amid Moscow’s closer ties with China. Modi’s agenda includes a meeting with President Vladimir Putin, with whom he last met in 2019. India has avoided condemning Russia’s actions in Ukraine, instead calling for a peaceful resolution. This neutral stance has allowed India to continue importing Russian oil, which now constitutes over 40% of its oil imports. However, the growing Russia-China relationship and ongoing border tensions with China pose challenges for India. Modi’s visit aims to bolster defense cooperation, given India’s substantial reliance on Russian military equipment, while also addressing trade imbalances. The visit is crucial for Putin, who seeks to counter Western isolation and project Russia as a global power. Trade discussions will likely focus on developing a maritime corridor between Chennai and Vladivostok, further strengthening the economic ties between the two nations.

NY Times: Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India is set to meet with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, a visit that underscores India’s independent foreign policy stance amidst the West’s efforts to isolate Moscow due to its actions in Ukraine. The visit, Modi’s first to Russia in five years, highlights the enduring strategic partnership between the two nations, especially in areas of trade, energy, and military cooperation. India’s substantial purchases of discounted Russian oil have provided significant economic support to Russia, which has been hit hard by Western sanctions. The two leaders are expected to discuss these economic ties, as well as the construction of nuclear power plants in India with Russian assistance and the continued supply of Russian arms, which are crucial for India’s defense against China. The timing of the visit, coinciding with a NATO summit in Washington, has drawn attention, though Indian officials emphasize that their relationship with Russia is not directed against any third party.

Washington Post: In a move that highlights the shifting dynamics of global diplomacy, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban made a surprise visit to Beijing, where Chinese leader Xi Jinping called for a global push towards a cease-fire in Ukraine, praising Orban’s controversial diplomatic efforts. This visit comes amid heightened tensions, as Ukraine remains firm on not agreeing to a cease-fire while Russian forces occupy significant portions of its territory. Orban’s diplomatic maneuvers, including recent visits to Kyiv and Moscow, have drawn criticism from European leaders who see them as undermining the EU’s unified stance. Meanwhile, Xi’s meeting with Orban and the upcoming visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Moscow represent significant diplomatic wins for Russian President Vladimir Putin. Modi’s trip, marking a break from Indian tradition, underscores the deepening ties between India and Russia, particularly in energy and defense. As Beijing and Moscow strengthen their alignment against Western influence, Xi and Putin continue to advocate for a multipolar world order, challenging the dominance of the United States and its allies.

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