Written by 08:27 World

Modi’s Russia Visit Showcases a Less Isolated Putin, Angering Ukraine

They hugged and strolled under the trees. They sipped tea and exchanged thoughts for hours. They petted horses together at the stables.

The jovial scenes between President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia and Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India, captured during the Indian leader’s first visit to Russia in five years, illustrated a sobering reality.

Despite the West’s campaign to isolate Russia over its 2022 invasion of Ukraine, other nations have pursued their own interests with regard to Moscow, helping Mr. Putin shore up the Russian economy and continue to wage his war. India, which has close ties to the United States, has emerged as the second-biggest importer of Russian oil after China in the years since the invasion.

Mr. Modi’s state visit, which began late Monday with a trip to Mr. Putin’s residence outside Moscow, underscored the point. At the Kremlin on Tuesday, Mr. Putin awarded Mr. Modi the Order of St. Andrew, the Russian government’s highest civilian honor, expressing “sincere gratitude” for his contribution to relations between their states.

“We have had two and a half years now of endless Russian atrocities, and most of the world is not daunted or uncomfortable maintaining some kind of business as usual with Moscow,” said Andrew S. Weiss, the vice president for studies at the Washington-based Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. “That’s a really sad commentary on Russia’s continued geopolitical weight.”

While Mr. Modi was hugging the Russian leader late Monday, rescue workers and volunteers in Kyiv were clearing away rubble from a Russian strike on Ukraine’s biggest pediatric hospital. Images of children outside the destroyed medical facility with their IVs still attached, or in some cases covered in blood, wrenched a nation that has been exhausted by more than two years of Russian bombardment.

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Last modified: 11 July 2024
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