Russia’s Putin to arrive in India to boost military, energy ties

Monday, 06 December 2021 - 17:17

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Russian President Vladimir Putin will arrive in India on Monday for his second overseas trip since the pandemic, seeking to bolster military and energy ties with a traditional ally being courted by the United States.

In its efforts to address a rising China, Washington has set up the QUAD security dialogue with India, Japan, and Australia, raising concerns in Beijing and Moscow.

India was close to the Soviet Union during the Cold War, a relationship that has endured, with New Delhi calling it a “special and privileged strategic partnership”.

“The friendship between India and Russia has stood the test of time,” Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi told Putin at a virtual summit in September.

“You have always been a great friend of India.”

It is just the Russian leader’s second trip abroad since the coronavirus pandemic began – he skipped both the G20 and COP26 summits this year – after a June summit with US President Joe Biden in Geneva.

“It’s hugely symbolic,” said Nandan Unnikrishnan from New Delhi-based Observer Research Foundation think-tank.

“It’s indicative how they do not want the relationship to stagnate or slow down for want of something from the Russian side.”