Putin, Modi Hold Informal Talks at Kremlin Leader’s Residence

Putin, Modi Hold Informal Talks at Kremlin Leader’s Residence

MOSCOW – Russian President Vladimir Putin welcomed Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi late on Monday and toured him around his residence outside Moscow ahead of official talks in the Kremlin on Tuesday.

Putin embraced the Indian leader at his home at Novo-Ogaryovo, greeted him as his “dear friend” and said he was “very happy” to see him, according to an account by Russia’s TASS state news agency.

“Our official talks are tomorrow, while today in this comfortable, cozy setting we can probably discuss the same issues, but unofficially,” TASS quoted Putin as saying.

The Russian president offered Modi, who is on his first visit to Russia in five years, tea, berries and sweets and took him on a tour of the grounds in a motorised cart.

Modi’s trip to Moscow and India’s relationship with Russia amid the war that Russia has been waging against Ukraine raise concerns, the U.S. State Department said.

Thousands of people have died on both sides since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022. India, which has enjoyed a close relationship with Moscow for decades has refused to condemn Russia for the war, instead calling for an end to the conflict through dialogue and diplomacy.

Russian state news agencies said Putin and Modi visited the residence’s stable and watched a show with performing horses.

A top Indian official said last week that fixing India’s trade imbalance with Russia and securing the discharge of Indian citizens who were “misled” into fighting in the Ukraine war would be among Modi’s top priorities in Moscow.

India, which has links with Moscow dating from the Soviet era, has increased purchases of cheap Russian oil to record levels.


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