Expect Russia-India relations to 'blossom even better': Moscow's UN envoy on likely visit by PM Modi

India and Russia are looking at the possibility of a brief visit to Moscow by Modi next week to hold wide-ranging talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Russian President Vladmir Putin.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Russian President Vladmir Putin. File photo| Express

Describing India as a "longtime friend of Russia," Moscow's envoy here said his country has relations of special privilege strategic partnership with New Delhi and he expects bilateral relations to "blossom even better" after Prime Minister Narendra Modi's likely visit to Russia.

Russia's Permanent Representative to the UN Vassily Nebenzia made the remarks while responding to a question on Prime Minister Modi's likely visit to Moscow during a press conference here Monday on the occasion of Russia assuming the Presidency of the Security Council for the month of July.

"We have relations of special privilege, strategic partnership with India. India is a longtime friend of Russia. We cooperate in so many areas, and I think that will be a substantive conversation on the whole range of issues that our countries cooperate on," Nebenzia said.

He added that he is not aware of what kind of documents will be the result of that visit, but “I'm sure that there will be serious messages coming out of it, and, I presume, in the form of joint documents as well.

When asked what he expects will be achieved from the visit, Nebenzia said, "I expect Russian-Indian relations to blossom even better."

India and Russia are looking at the possibility of a brief visit to Moscow by Modi next week to hold wide-ranging talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The visit, if it takes place, will be Modi's first trip to Russia in nearly five years.

His last visit to Russia was in 2019 when he attended an economic conclave in the Far East city of Vladivostok.

Though there is no confirmation from the Indian side on Modi's possible visit, a Kremlin official last week said active preparations are underway for the trip.

"I can confirm that we are preparing a visit by the prime minister of India. We cannot (say) the dates as yet, because the dates are announced by the parties in agreement," Yuri Ushakov, an assistant to the Russian president, said.

"But we are actively preparing. I will emphasise once again, this visit will take place," he told reporters while replying to a question.

Diplomatic sources had said the Indian prime minister's day-long visit is being planned around July 8, adding there is no finality on the date yet and various options are being explored.

If Modi travels to Russia, then he and President Putin are set to hold the India-Russia annual summit after a gap of three years.

The annual summit between the Prime Minister of India and the President of Russia is the highest institutional dialogue mechanism in the strategic partnership between the two countries.

So far, 21 annual summits have taken place alternatively in India and Russia. The last summit was held on December 6, 2021, in New Delhi.

President Putin had visited India to attend the summit.

The summit saw both sides sealing 28 MoUs and agreements, besides coming out with a joint statement titled "India-Russia Partnership for Peace, Progress and Prosperity".

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