Wednesday, June, 19,2024

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Mumbai: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has notched up a major global victory, through calibrated diplomacy, ensuring de-escalation of the Russia-Ukraine war while raising the stakes of economic cooperation with the European Union (EU) and Russia.

Last week, PM Modi spoke with French President Emmanuel Macron in the wake of a spate of wildfires across the southwest region of Gironde in France. The PM’s Twitter handle further informed of discussions over bilateral cooperation under the India-France Strategic Partnership (forged since the Rafael fighter jets purchases through a government-to-government deal) and other issues of global and regional significance.

Simultaneously, India’s National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval left for Russia and visited Moscow for a meeting with his Russian counterpart Nikolai Patrushev and Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Denis Manturov.

On Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Macron reached a consensus to allow an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) team to inspect Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in Ukraine that is under Russia’s control, without having to travel via the country, as Kiev and western nations had desired.

A person familiar with the developments said, “India’s economic relationship with France will result in a likely civil nuclear energy deal soon following PM Modi’s outreach. However, Doval was accompanied by Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) Chairman S Somanath to Russia as India’s involvement in the French Earth observation mission (space station) was being curtailed by the latter.”

India will most likely join with the Russian Space Centre mission as a counterbalance to enable its space research and technology programme to continue unabated, he added.

“Indian diplomacy helped de-escalate the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Calibrated mediation effectively brought Russia and the EU nations to the negotiation table where the discussion can now proceed to bring an end to the five-month-old war. Russia is convinced about the need to end aggression at the earliest and this will lead to resetting Russian and EU relations going ahead.”

The Modi-Doval effect was not limited to the war front alone as they convinced other European nations including the United Kingdom (UK), Germany, and Italy to sync with the Indian point of view on trade hereon. Similarly, Russia’s high dependence on China in the semiconductor industry was discussed, particularly after Putin’s recent visit to China, where he announced a ‘no-limits’ relationship with China.

“The Indian mission reviewed Indo-Russian synergies and discussed how a Russian indulgence could similarly ease tensions between India and China over conflicts on the Indian border. India and Russia share a strong defence equipment supply relationship with India set to join the joint military exercises in Russia scheduled later this year along with China and other nations,” added the source.

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