Mapping India-Russia ties 2.0: Five takeaways from Modi-Putin summit

The first annual summit meeting between India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin has ended on a high note, with an all-encompassing vision statement that maps out the trajectory of this relationship over the next decade and signals a marked upswing in the economic relationship that seems ready to enter a higher trajectory after years of relative stagnation.

The summit meeting took place against the backdrop of the deepening chill between Russia and the West over the Ukraine crisis and the deals worth billions of dollars struck between India and Russia have predictably raised eyebrows. In essence, the Modi-Putin meeting underlined that India and Russia are ready to move beyond clichés of time-tested and special and privileged ties to do provide more economic content and strategic heft to the relationship amid rapidly shifting geopolitical realities.
Taking a long-range view, the December 11 Modi-Putin summit has chalked out a detailed and creative template for transforming the India-Russia relationship that was drifting into stagnation and was getting entrapped in predictable diplomatic clichés. The 20 agreements signed during the summit, specially the economic and energy agreements, have huge transformative potential if they are brought to fruition within set deadlines. However, in the end the success of the remaking of the India-Russia relationship will depend on the continued centrality of strategic trust in the overall relationship.

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