VIDEO | Modi in Moscow: Russian roulette over Chinese checkers?

The Modi-Putin meet comes at a time when China's president Xi Jinping remains intent on expanding China's influence over the Global South.
VIDEO | Modi in Moscow: Russian roulette over Chinese checkers?

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PM Narendra Modi is supping with Russian President Vladmir Putin in Moscow on july 8. This is Modi's first official bilateral state visit after returning to office.

Interestingly, the dinner meet comes days after India announced that PM Modi was giving the Shanghai Co-operation Organisation Summit on July 3-4 a miss. External Affairs Minister Jasihankar represented India at at the Kazakh capital, Astana, instead, and read out Modi's message.

The Modi-Putin meet comes at a time when China's president Xi Jinping remains intent on expanding China's influence over the Global South. As Xi is playing his game of Chinese Checkers, India is now engaging in a Russian Roulette with Putin.

There are interesting and big questions looming before the important meet:

a) How does India navigate between its new ally United States, which it cannot alienate, and old ally Russia, chief arms supplier, and most reliable source of cheap oil?

b) How worried should India be over Pakistan - a China proxy - becoming a member of the UNSC for two years, while India itself is out of the international human rights council? Does this mean India needs Russia more than ever?

c) Is India being nudged by Russia to start a political dialogues with Beijing, Moscow's biggest partner now?

d) Are we seeing a new great game in the Himalayas?

e) And finally, is this Russian Roulette or a game of Chinese Checkers?

Looking at all this and more is the latest Global Express episode. Veteran journalist Neena Gopal will be talking to two distinguished ex-Ambassadors.

Ambassador Ashok Kantha is a former Indian diplomat , who served as Indian Ambassador to China, High Commissioner of India in Sri Lanka and as India's High Commissioner to Malaysia. He is currently, Director of the Institute of Chinese Studies, Delhi And a Distinguished Fellow at Vivekananda International Foundation.

Also on the show is Phunchok Stobdan, who served as Indian ambassador to Kyrgyzstan. Formerly, a senior fellow at Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi, he is founding president of Ladakh International Centre. An academician, diplomat and author, he has earlier served in the National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS), and is known for his plain speaking on China.

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