Putin welcomes Modi for tea

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Kremlin leader Vladimir Putin for the first time since the start of Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine. The Kremlin leader received Modi for tea at his residence in Novo-Ogarjevo near Moscow. According to the state agency Tass, the Russian president and the Indian head of government agreed to discuss various topics first informally. They do not want to talk officially until Tuesday.

Putin praised Modi’s political commitment. “You have dedicated your whole life to the Indian people, people feel it,” Putin was quoted as saying by Tass. “You are right, I have only one goal – my people and my country,” Modi replied.

According to the Kremlin, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will also be discussed during Modi’s official visit. This will be of interest to Western observers, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, given that Modi did not attend a Ukrainian-sponsored peace summit in Switzerland in June, much to Kiev’s annoyance. It was not clear whether Russia’s serious rocket attack that caused damage to a children’s clinic in Kiev was also discussed.

India is increasingly trading with the raw material power and is now a major buyer of Russian oil. Moscow media have reported in recent days that Modi's post-re-election trip is a sign of special respect for India's ties with Russia. Russia is a major energy supplier to India.

“We are trying to play a supportive role in the region for peace and stability,” Modi said. He said he hoped to discuss all aspects of bilateral cooperation with his “friend” Putin. A banquet with Putin was planned for that evening.

Following his visit to Russia, Modi will travel to Austria. This is the first time in more than 40 years that an Indian prime minister has visited the country. Modi will be received by President Alexander van der Bellen and Chancellor Karl Nehammer (ÖVP). In Moscow and Vienna, as with other foreign visits, Modi will meet representatives of the Indian community, he said.

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