India’s PM Modi meets Putin in Russia, plans to discuss Ukraine peace

Moscow, Jul. 8, (dpa/GNA) – Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is visiting Russian President Vladimir Putin for the first time since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine began more than two years ago.

An Indian foreign ministry spokesman in New Delhi said ahead of the trip that Modi will likely discuss the Russia-Ukraine conflict during his visit.

“We will always strive for a peaceful resolution of this issue as quickly as possible, which will be beneficial for everyone,” he said.

The spokesman said that the return of Indians from the war in Ukraine is likely to be discussed as well. He added that they had been coerced under false pretences to work for the Russian army. Estimates suggest that this involves around 30 to 45 Indian citizens.

Modi plans to travel to Austria after his trip to Russia.

On Monday, Modi wrote on X: “These visits will be a wonderful opportunity to deepen ties with these nations, with whom India has time-tested friendship.”

A banquet with Putin is planned for Monday evening.

Russia is an important energy supplier for India. Revenue from the sale of Russian oil, which India receives at a discount due to the Western embargo against Moscow, allows Putin to continue financing the war in Ukraine.

India has taken a neutral stance towards Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. It maintains good relations with both the West and Russia, where Modi last visited in 2019.

In the autumn, Russia is expected to host the BRICS summit, a gathering of countries which includes Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa among others, in the city of Kazan, to which Modi is invited.

Modi plans to travel to Austria after Russia. It is the first time in more than 40 years that an Indian prime minister has visited the country.

Modi is expected to be received by Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen and Chancellor Karl Nehammer.

In Moscow and Vienna, Modi will meet with representatives of the Indian community, as he has done on other foreign visits, India’s foreign ministry stated.