The long-standing romance between India and Russia seems very much alive as Vladimir Putin’s one-day summit in Delhi commences on Thursday.
“If you look at the history between the two countries, I would go as far to say Russia remains India’s best friend amongst all the great powers,” said John Lee, adjunct associate professor at the University of Sydney.
The two nations enjoyed a heady courtship during the 1970s, but the relationship has faded over the years. Five years ago, Russia-India trade was one-fifth of Russia-China trade, but as China becomes increasingly assertive in Asia, that ratio fell to one-tenth in 2014.
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In what is becoming a signature move on Modi’s global charm offensive, the Indian leader posted a series of tweets in Russian upon Putin’s arrival. During a visit to Japan earlier this year, Modi also tweeted in Japanese.
“Times have changed, our friendship has not. Now, we want to take this relationship to the next level and this visit is a step in that direction,” Modi’s tweet said.
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