India's Modi meets Putin on first Russia visit since Ukraine offensive

India's newly re-elected prime minister Narendra Modi arrived in Moscow on Monday for a two-day visit that aims to balance the country's longstanding relationship with Russia while courting closer security ties with the West. The trip is Modi's first visit to Moscow since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi flew into Moscow on Monday and warmly hugged President Vladimir Putin on a visit that treads a fine line between maintaining a longstanding relationship with Moscow and courting closer Western security ties.

The visit is Modi's first since Russia launched its campaign in Ukraine and since he was returned to power last month as leader of the world's most populous country.

After meeting Moscow's Indian community, Modi had an informal meeting with Putin at his residence at Novo-Ogaryovo outside Moscow, where the leaders drank tea on a terrace, rode in a golf cart together and visited stables.

The Indian leader told Putin it was a "moment of joy" to visit and thanked him for planning "that we chit-chat here this evening".

"Looking forward to our talks tomorrow as well, which will surely go a long way in further cementing the bonds of friendship between India and Russia," Modi later wrote on X, posting a photo of the leaders hugging.


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