South Asia Center Deputy Director Bharath Gopalaswamy writes for the Global Times on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recent visit to India: 

The meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on December 10-11 aimed to give a fresh impetus to a bilateral relationship that previously peaked during the Cold War. Increased isolation from the West, coupled with a struggling ruble, has Russia looking for new friends and renewing old relationships.

In many ways, India is a natural partner: Russia is one of the world’s largest exporters of arms and oil, and India is one of the world’s largest importers. While India aims to diversify its sources of energy and arms, Russia seeks to aid its struggling economy.

India’s reception of Putin reveals the degree of pragmatism and realism that has characterized Indian foreign policy under Modi. Since Modi assumed power in May 2014, he has undertaken important foreign visits in order to resurrect India’s economy. His trips to Rio de Janeiro, New York and Tokyo were aimed primarily at putting India on the map as an investor-friendly destination rather than projecting India as a foreign policy leader. Modi understands that attracting foreign direct investment in sectors such as manufacturing, construction, telecommunications and financial services to boost India’s economic progress and achieve growth is a top priority. 

Read the full article here.

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