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Can Putin rely on India to boost Russia's war economy? – DW – 07/04/2024

Can Putin rely on India to boost Russia's war economy? – DW – 07/04/2024
After Moscow's tanks rolled into Ukraine, Russian oil exports to India soared. As Prime Minister Narendra Modi prepares for talks with President Vladimir Putin, India wants to stay neutral and boost trade with Russia.

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India's increasing imports of Russian fossil fuels amid the Ukraine war have raised concerns in the West. Despite accusations of funding Putin's war machine, India has justified the increase by citing its traditional ties with Moscow and its heavy reliance on imported oil. As Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi prepares to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, Putin will be looking to further boost trade with India to shore up Russia's commodity-dependent economy and lessen the impact of Western sanctions. However, India must tread a delicate path as it aims to maintain strong links with the West, seek new trade links with Moscow, and retain a neutral position over the conflict. India and Russia have a long history of strategic partnership, particularly in defense and trade. While India has demonstrated a nuanced approach to navigating the Russia-Ukraine conflict, it remains to be seen whether more trade between India and Russia is in the cards. Modi's visit to Moscow is a sign of the importance India still places on relations with the Kremlin, and both countries are exploring new trade opportunities, including the expansion of the International North-South Transport Corridor and the Chennai-Vladivostok maritime corridor.