India & Russia Ramp Up Mutual Relations

Russian President Vladimir Putin met last week at the Kremlin with India’s foreign minister as Russia pivots to Asia to break its current isolation, the New York Times reported.

Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, India has remained neutral, citing its long ties with Moscow and insisting that it has the right to establish relations unilaterally.

India has long relied on Russia for military supplies and has rapidly expanded its imports of Russian oil, becoming one of the main buyers of Russian petroleum, providing much-needed financial relief to Russia despite Washington’s objections.

During last week’s meeting, President Putin said Russia was “successful” due to India’s “direct support.” He also extended an invitation for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to visit Moscow.

Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar brought with him a letter from Prime Minister Modi in which he shared with Putin his thoughts on India’s current relations with Russia.

Before meeting with Putin, Jaishankar met with his Russian counterpart, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to discuss “the state of multilateralism and the building of a multipolar world order.”

Jaishankar said the focus of the discussions was on “bilateral cooperation” to adjust to the changing demands and circumstances.

Foreign Minister Lavrov told reporters on Wednesday that Russia’s relationship with India extends beyond bilateral ties as both nations are committed to “building an international political and economic system” that is fair and open to all.

During Jaishankar’s visit, India and Russia agreed to construct additional power-generating units at the nuclear power plant in Kundankulam in southern India, which is being constructed with assistance from Moscow.

Despite Washington’s efforts to isolate Russia and deter nations from supporting Moscow, Biden administration officials have been careful not to openly criticize India. Instead, Prime Minister Modi has been courted by administration officials and the White House hosted a state dinner in his honor in the summer, all in hopes of wooing a powerful ally to counter Russia and China.