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PM Modi leaves for Russia, Austria visit, to meet President Putin today

Prime Minister Narendra Modi leaves for Russia (Photo: ANI)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday left for a two-nation visit today, beginning with Moscow, Russia, where he has been invited by President Vladimir Putin to attend the 22nd India-Russia Annual Summit.

In a post on X, the Ministry of External Affairs said “PM Narendra Modi sets off on a 2-nation visit to Russia and Austria. The first leg of the visit takes him to Moscow for the 22nd India-Russia Annual Summit. An opportunity to further accelerate – partnership.”

Following his engagements in Russia, Prime Minister Modi will proceed to Austria on July 9-10. This visit marks a historic occasion, as it will be the first time an Indian Prime Minister has visited Austria in 41 years.

Earlier speaking to ANI, EAM S Jaishankar said that this visit will be a great opportunity for PM Modi and Russian President Putin to sit and discuss the relationship.

“There was a bit of a delay in our annual summits, it is a good tradition, we are two countries which have a strong history of working together. We did value the need for an annual summit. Last year when I went to Moscow, I carried a message from the PM that we are committed to the annual summit and we will do it sooner rather than later…it is a regular recurrence. It is a way of taking stock of any relationship,” he said.

PM Modi is expected to meet Putin later in the day on Monday. Indian Ambassador to Russia, Vinay Kumar said the visit was a very important one.

“Russia is now one of the very important sources of energy resources in India. Also, trade has expanded in other areas. So this visit becomes very important for the leaders to exchange views on all these developments in the bilateral relationship, but also other regional and international issues of mutual interest,” he said.

Vinay Kumar said that PM Modi during his visit will have a private meeting with Russian President Putin, attend the lunch-on hosted by Putin and visit an exhibition centre. He said that PM Modi will address a gathering of Indian community members in Russia.

Elaborating on PM Modi’s schedule during his visit to Russia, the Indian envoy said, “The program includes a private meeting with President Putin, delegation-level talks, restricted talks, luncheon hosted by President Putin for Prime Minister and his delegation, visit to an exhibition centre in the VDNKH Complex, Rosatom Pavilion, and also exchange of documents which we are preparing to sign and exchange during the visit.”

Sharing details about the PM’s visit to Russia, Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra said that both leaders have spoken on the phone multiple times since their unofficial meeting in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, in 2022.

“The last, that is the 21st, annual summit, you would recall was held in New Delhi in December 2021. The two leaders thereafter met in September 2022 in Samarkand on the margins of the SCO summit in Uzbekistan. They have also stayed in touch with each other through several telephonic conversations through these years,” Kwatra said.

PM Modi will arrive in Moscow in the late afternoon of July 8. Russian President Putin will host a private dinner for PM Modi on the day of arrival. PM Modi and the Russian President will review the full range of multifaceted ties between India and Russia.

“These engagements will be followed by a restricted level talk between the two leaders, which will then be followed by delegation level talks led by the Prime Minister and the Russian President” as per the Foreign Secretary.

PM Modi will then travel to Austria, as India and Austria celebrate 75 years of diplomatic relations. The Prime Minister will hold discussions with Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer on strengthening the bond between the two nations and exploring new avenues of cooperation.