On Monday, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss defense and commercial links as India seeks to strike a balance with the US.
According to Indian External Affairs Ministry spokesman Arindam Bagchi, the annual summit’s agenda includes political and defense matters. Several agreements, notably in commerce and defense, are likely to be signed between the two countries.
India and Russia have a long history of friendship and cooperation. However, India has recently grown closer to the United States, which it sees as crucial in combating China. In eastern Ladakh, where fatal skirmishes erupted last year, India and China have been locked in a months-long military standoff.
Meanwhile, Russia has raised doubts about the Quad, a grouping comprised of the United States, India, Japan, and Australia created in reaction to China’s rising aggressiveness in the Indo-Pacific area.
As it strengthens military ties with the United States, India is attempting to negotiate its defense relationship with Russia. India and Russia are in the process of negotiating and perhaps signing a 10-year military-technical pact that will aid in the transfer of new technology to India.
During the Cold War, India, a major importer of military equipment, relied heavily on the former Soviet Union. However, it has been diversifying its purchases by purchasing equipment made in the United States. During Donald Trump’s administration, the United States and India signed defense contracts totaling more than $3 billion. Defense trade between the two countries has climbed from virtually nil in 2008 to $15 billion in 2019.
The procurement of Russian S-400 missile systems by India, which it views crucial in combating China, might irritate Indo-US relations.
To avoid prospective penalties, Washington has encouraged its allies to steer away from Russian military hardware.
India and Russia are anticipated to improve their commercial ties as well. By the end of 2025, they have already established a goal of $30 billion in bilateral commerce.