Re-Energising India - Russia Partnership
India Strategic|September 2019
The 36-hour visit by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Vlad Ivostok, Russia on September 4-5 to participate in the 20th Annual Summit and as Guest of honour in the 5th eastern economic Forum (eeF) at the invitation of President Vladimir Putin provided, in PM Modi’s own words, “a new direction, new energy and new speed” to relations between the two countries.
Ashok Sajjanhar

The strength and resilience of India-Russia relations can be appreciated from the fact that bilateral Annual Summits have been held every year without fail since the time they were first launched in 2001 by President Putin and Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. The two countries entered into a Strategic Partnership at that time. With no other country does India have such a long-standing tradition of holding Annual Summits. PM Modi made a poignant reference to his first meeting with President Putin during his visit to Russia as Chief Minister of Gujarat in 2001 with PM Vajpayee.

This was the fifth visit by PM Modi to Russia since he assumed power in 2014. relations between the two countries were seen to have become listless at the beginning of PM Modi’s first term because of India’s perceived growing closeness to USA, and Russia's increasing dependence on China as well as its expanding flirtations with Pakistan including in arms supplies. russia’s decision to engage in military exercises with Pakistan, (first reportedly in PoK but later clarified that they were conducted in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), immediately after the URI attack by Pakistan in September, 2016 represented a low point in bilateral understanding. relations witnessed an upsurge after the informal Summit between the two leaders in Sochi in May, 2018. Since then PM Modi and President Putin have met several times including at the G-20 Summits in Buenos Aires in November, 2018 and in Osaka in June, 2019 in a trilateral format with Chinese President Xi Jinping; in SCO Summit in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan in June, 2019, and at the bilateral Summit in New Delhi in October, 2018. The current visit injected a huge energy to the partnership.

PM Modi is the first Indian PM to visit Russia’s Far-east although India’s relations with the region go back a long-time as India was the first country to establish its Consulate in Vladivostok in 1992.

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