Russia – India Strategic Partnership

Russian President awards Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi with the Order of St. Andrew the Apostle

Narendra Modi: “L’India condanna tutte le forme e le manifestazioni di terrorismo”

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who chose Russia as his first foreign destination after his re-election as India’s chief executive in June, has completed his two-day visit to Moscow. Talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin began Monday evening during a private dinner at the Novo-Ogarevo residence near Moscow and lasted more than three hours, during which the two leaders had time to discuss all issues of mutual interest, from the armed conflict in Ukraine to bilateral cooperation in energy, security, counter-terrorism, and the transition to settlement in national currencies in trade.

On the eve of Modi’s trip to Moscow, Indian newspapers reminded that it would be his first visit to Russia since the armed conflict with Ukraine began. According to the New Delhi press, the hostilities “have complicated relations between the two countries, which have been longtime partners, as Russia has moved closer to China, India’s rival.”

The talks continued Tuesday in the Kremlin with some members of the official Indian and Russian delegations in attendance. Russian Federation and India are “united by a privileged strategic partnership,” Vladimir Putin said, opening official talks with Modi. “Our two countries have a very long-standing friendship, good relations that have been developing for decades, and this year we celebrate the 77th anniversary of diplomatic relations. Today our relations have the character of a special privileged strategic partnership,” the Russian president emphasized, recalling that the two countries “constantly maintain contact” that respects the interests of both the Indian and Russian people. “We cooperate closely in the international arena, including international organizations, mainly in the UN, and in associations such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and BRICS.” In this context, Putin renewed Modi’s invitation to attend the BRICS summit to be held in the city of Kazan, Russia, in October.

As far as economic cooperation is concerned, after growing by 66% last year, trade between Russia and India grew by 20% again in the first quarter of 2024.

In this context, Putin and Modi discussed ways to “diversify bilateral cooperation in trade, agriculture, technology, and innovation.” Modi described the two rounds of talks with Putin here as “very productive.” The Indian prime minister also said the two countries attached “great importance” to cultural exchange and cooperation in logistics.

During the talks in the Kremlin, experts from Russia and India discussed the prospects of regular supplies of Russian energy carriers to Indian ports via the Arctic route. According to a Rosatom press release, “Specialized organizations from Russia and India are discussing the possibilities of systemic deliveries of Russian energy resources (oil, coal, and liquefied natural gas) from the northern ports of western Russia via Arctic route to Indian ports with transshipment in Russian ports in the Far East.”

According to Modi, cooperation between India and Russia “guarantees stability in the global energy market.” Modi stressed that “the whole world is going through a fuel crisis, but thanks to cooperation with Russia, India has been able to avoid any hardship for Indian citizens by supplying them with gasoline and diesel.”

Putin and Modi decided to intensify bilateral security cooperation. “India condemns all forms and manifestations of terrorism,” Narendra Modi said, recalling that “India has been suffering from terrorism for the last 40-50 years.” The Indian Prime Minister added that India “understands the pain that Russia has felt after the recent terrorist attacks in Moscow and Dagestan.”

Following the talks, the Russian president awarded Modi with the Order of St. Andrew the Apostle. The ceremony was held in the Kremlin. The Russian President emphasized that the award reflects Russia’s appreciation for the contribution Modi has made in strengthening the friendship between the two countries. Putin also noted that Modi has always actively supported the expansion of contacts with Russia. The Russian leader recalled that when the current Indian Prime Minister was still heading the Gujarat state government, he took the initiative to establish twinning ties with Russian regions, in particular with the Astrakhan region. In addition, Putin emphasized that with Modi’s direct support, “the largest Russian-Indian projects in the trade, economic, military, and technical spheres, as well as in nuclear energy, hydrocarbons, high technology, and space” had been successfully implemented.

Narendra Modi e Vladimir Putin al Cremlino