Modi to Visit Russia, Following His Absence at SCO Summit

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to visit Russia on July 8-9, marking his first trip there since 2019 and making it the first bilateral visit of his third term.

This visit, Modi’s first since Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine, comes only a month after the end of India’s general elections. Previously, Modi had chosen neighboring countries for initial visits, and this shift marks his clear intention to strengthen what he described as “traditionally friendly” Indo-Russian relations.

Despite ongoing conflicts, including the War in Donbas, India has managed to maintain a balanced relationship with Russia, continuing to cooperate economically and militarily. India’s defense sector heavily relies on Russian equipment, necessitating ongoing access to spares and new hardware. This visit will also potentially see the signing of a logistics support pact enhancing India’s naval reach, possibly extending to the Arctic.

Modi’s trip could signal India’s strategic positioning and its intent to play a more active role in global diplomacy. These current shifts in global power dynamics are highlighted by the timeline, with Modi’s visit to Russia occurring right after the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Kazakhstan—a summit Modi did not attend due to coinciding parliamentary sessions in India.