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‘West jealously watching visit’: Kremlin spokesperson on PM Modi’s Russia visit

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin (File Photo: ANI)

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said on Sunday that The West is closely and jealously watching Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s upcoming visit to Russia on July 8-9, a Russia-based news agency, Tass reported.

“They are jealous – that means they are closely monitoring it. Their close monitoring means they attach great importance to it. And they are not mistaken, there is something to attach great importance to,” Peskov was quoted as saying by Tass.

PM Modi’s agenda in Moscow includes discussions with President Putin on regional and global issues of mutual importance. Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra highlighted that the Indo-Pacific developments would likely feature prominently in their talks, underscoring its significance to both India and Russia. Following his arrival, PM Modi will engage with the Indian community in Russia and visit the Kremlin, followed by talks with President Putin.

“These engagements will begin with a restricted-level discussion between the two leaders, followed by delegation-level talks,” stated Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra.

As Prime Minister Narendra Modi leaves for his official visit to Moscow from July 8 to 9, a vibrant community event is set to highlight cultural ties between India and Russia, featuring performances by Russian artists trained in Kathak dance.

The event, scheduled for July 9, holds special significance as it coincides with PM Modi’s visit to Russia at the invitation of President Vladimir Putin for the 22nd India-Russia Annual Summit. During this community gathering, Russian artists will showcase their skills in Kathak, a classical Indian dance form they have diligently practised at cultural centres.

Expressing her excitement, Natalia, one of the Russian artists, said, “I have been learning Kathak dance for the past 7 years, and I am thrilled to finally perform my favourite art form in front of PM Narendra Modi. His visit to Moscow signifies the strong relationship between our two beloved countries.”

Earlier, speaking to ANI India’s Ambassador to Russia, Vinay Kumar, called Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Russia “very significant” and noted that it is taking place after a gap of three years.

Vinay Kumar stated that the visit of PM Modi is “very important” for the two leaders to exchange views on developments in bilateral ties and discuss other regional and important issues of mutual interest. He said that the two nations have the tradition of an annual exchange of summit-level meetings between the Russian President and Indian Prime Minister and added that the last one took place in 2021.

Notably, this will be the 22nd India-Russia Annual Bilateral Summit. The 21st bilateral Summit was held in December 2021 when Russian President Vladimir Putin visited New Delhi.

Asked about the importance of PM Modi’s first overseas visit after being sworn in as PM of India for the third time, he responded, “The visit is very significant. It is taking place after a gap of three years. We have the tradition of the annual exchange of summit-level meetings between the President of the Russian Federation and the Prime Minister of India and the last one was in 2021. So, since then, a lot has changed around the world, but also our relations have expanded.”