PM Modi likely to miss SCO Summit, plans Moscow visit for India-Russia talks

According to sources in Russia, the visit is nearly finalized, and a formal announcement is expected from the Kremlin soon.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Russian President Vladimir Putin
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Russian President Vladimir Putin (File Photo | Shekhar Yadav/Express)

NEW DELHI: While Prime Minister Narendra Modi is anticipated to participate in the SCO Summit slated for July 3rd and 4th in Astana, Kazakhstan, emerging reports from Russia suggest that he is inclined to visit Moscow around July 8th for an India-Russia Summit.

According to sources in Russia, the visit is nearly finalized, and a formal announcement is expected from the Kremlin soon.

This summit between India and Russia comes after a gap of nearly two years, primarily due to the outbreak of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

"PM Modi's decision to skip the SCO Summit is strategic, as India considers Russia an ally. The bilateral meeting between the two leaders is essential to reinforce the strong ties between India and Russia," a source stated.

The conflict between Russia and Ukraine, which began on February 24th, 2022, prompted President Putin to maintain regular communication with PM Modi.

President Putin was among the first few leaders to congratulate PM Modi when he returned to power for the third time earlier this month.

India has continued to voice its support for Russia during the conflict and has significantly increased its crude oil imports from them, from a mere 2 per cent to over 25 per cent. Despite criticism from the international community, India's stance on Russia has been accepted globally.

While PM Modi is unlikely to attend the SCO Summit in Astana, he recently had a conversation with the President of Kazakhstan, Kassym Jomart Tokayev, expressing India's commitment to advancing its Strategic Partnership with Kazakhstan and extending support for the upcoming SCO Summit.

External Affairs Minister Dr. S Jaishankar is expected to represent India at the SCO Summit in Astana, although an official announcement is yet to be made.

India hosted the SCO Summit last year (2023), but due to its commitments to the G20, it opted for a virtual Summit instead of hosting the leaders' Summit.

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