indian envoy hails ties with russia despite western pressure

India’s foreign minister is on a five-day diplomatic trip to Moscow to reinforce economic and defense ties. But some signs of strain are showing.

As India presses its neutrality in the war in Ukraine, the Indian foreign minister sought to reinforce its diplomatic and economic ties with Russia ahead of his expected meeting on Wednesday with President Vladimir V. Putin.

From the start of Russia’s war, India has taken a neutral stance, citing its longtime ties with Moscow and insisting on its right to navigate a multipolar world its own way.

Russia has long been the most important military supplier for India, and as international sanctions in response to the war began constricting Russian oil sales, India rapidly expanded its purchases to become one of the chief buyers of discounted Russian petroleum. In doing so, India has frustrated American efforts to isolate Russia since the war began in 2022, providing a much-needed financial boost to Moscow’s coffers.

India’s foreign minister, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, who met with his Russian counterpart in Moscow, said that he would discuss “the state of multilateralism and the building of a multipolar world order.”

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