Putin meets Modi as India balances its ties with Russia, US

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New Delhi (Web Desk): Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday met with Russian President Vladimir Putin as New Delhi attempts to balance its ties with the United States.

The agenda for the annual summit includes political and defence issues, Indian External Affairs Ministry spokesman Arindam Bagchi said. The two countries are expected to sign several agreements, particularly in trade and defence.

India and Russia have a long history of close ties. But recently, India has drawn closer to the United States, which it considers critical to countering China. India and China have had a months-long military standoff along their disputed border in eastern Ladakh, where deadly clashes erupted last year.

Russia, meanwhile, has expressed reservations over the formation of the Quad, a grouping involving the US, India, Japan and Australia formed in response to China’s growing assertiveness in the Indo-Pacific region.

India is trying to navigate its defence relationship with Russia as it ramps up its military ties with the United States. India and Russia are discussing and likely to sign a 10-year military-technical agreement that could help in the transfer of new technologies to India.