Russian President Vladimir Putin is set to meet Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday for the 21st Annual Russia-India Summit.
His visit to New Delhi comes amid growing tensions between Russia and Western nations over Ukraine.
According to Alexander Gabuev, chair of the “Russia in the Asia Pacific” program of the Carnegie Moscow Center, Russia is trying to diversify its relations in Asia by developing ties with India.
“India is a traditional partner going back decades, and I think that the in-person summit suggests that Vladimir Putin attaches great importance to the relationship with India as an ability to make Russia’s Asia policy more than Russia’s China policy,” he says.
Putin started the tradition of an annual Russia-India summit after making his first visit to the country in 2000, where he met then Premier, Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
According to the Indian Ministry of Foreign affairs, this will be the first time the two leaders meet face to face since November 2019. They will review a series of pacts on defense, technology and energy as well as investment and trade.
India has territorial disputes with China but Putin is expected to reassure Modi that Moscow’s deepening relations with Beijing won’t backfire on the country.