Putin says Modi cannot be forced to take actions contrary to Indian interests


Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday heaped praise on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying that he cannot be intimidated or forced to take decisions that are contrary to national interests. He also spoke favourably of PM Modi’s tough posturing and stance when it comes to defending the national interests.

“I cannot imagine that Modi could be intimidated, intimidated or forced to take any actions, steps and decisions that are contrary to the national interests of India and the Indian people. And there is such pressure, I know. By the way, he and I never even talk about this. I just look at what is happening from the outside, and sometimes, to be honest, I’m even surprised at his tough position on defending the national interests of the Indian state,” the Russian President’s Office quoted Putin as saying at the 14th VTB Investment Forum ‘Russia Calling’.

READ: indica’s full coverage of the Modi-Putin friendship

Also underlining the bilateral ties between India and Russia, Putin said the relations between the two nations have been “developing progressively” in all directions.

Addressing the forum, the Russian President said the ‘policy’ pursued by PM Modi is the main ‘guarantor’ of relations between the two countries.

On what the two nations could do to accelerate the expansion of bilateral trade, Putin said, “I would like to say that relations between Russia and India are developing progressively in all directions, and the main guarantor of this is the policy pursued by Prime Minister Mr. Modi. He belongs precisely to that cohort of world political figures about whom I spoke without naming names.”

Noting that the trade turnover between India and Russia was ‘growing’, the Russian President added, “Last year it was 35 billion dollars per year, and in the first half of this year it was already 33.5 billion. That is, the growth will be significant. Yes, we all understand that, to a large extent, India receives preferences due to discounts on Russian energy resources. Well, he’s actually doing the right thing.”

“If I were them, I would also do the same if the situation develops this way. They make money, and rightly so. But, of course, this is not enough. We have much more opportunities. In the global ranking of the world’s economies by purchasing power parity and by economic volume, India ranks third in this list and Russia fifth,” he added.

“Let me remind you, China, the United States, India, Japan, Russia. The three largest economies in the world by purchasing power parity. Of course, if our trade turnover with China this year is close to 200 billion, it would be right for us to increase it with India,” the Russian President noted further.

Stating that he would discuss the North-South Corridor with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, Putin added that India is interested in implementing routes of this kind, according to the Russian President’s Office.

He stressed that the Northern Sea Route needs to be developed, calling it a “very promising direction in the field of logistics.”

The Russian President also underscored the need to develop the financial infrastructure and use more national currencies in mutual settlements. He called for paying more attention to investments and investment flows.

It is not the first time that a Russian leader has praised India’s foreign policy. Earlier in November, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov cited the statement of External Affairs Minister S Jaishanakar while elaborating on the change in global structure and multipolarity due to the rise of players like Global South and Global East.

He quoted Jaishankar’s remarks that the “world is much more than Europe” and the “world is much more than the West.”

Lavrov made the remarks while speaking at the Primakov Readings International Forum in Moscow.

“The key difference of the current edition of multipolarity is the chance to acquire genuinely global proportions, relying on the fundamental principle of the UN Charter: the sovereign equality of states. Previously, decisions of global importance were driven by a small group of countries with the predominant voice coming from the Western community, for obvious reasons,” the Russian Foreign Ministry quoted Lavrov as saying at the event.

EAM Jaishankar, while defending India’s position to buy Russian oil amid the conflict in Ukraine, had made a similar statement.

“Europe has to grow out of the mindset that Europe’s problems are the world’s problems but the world’s problems are not Europe’s problems,” Jaishankar had said.

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