PM Modi's visit has shored up Moscow's insecurities, but a transformation in India-Russia relations awaits
Surprisingly, Narendra Modi held off a visit to Russia, a country most hold to be India's most vital international partner, for 18 months after taking office. Of course, there had been earlier opportunities to meet with his Russian counterpart, in Fortaleza in July 2014 during the Brics summit, in Ufa in July 2015 during the Brics and SCO conferences, and in Brisbane in November 2014 during the G20 meeting, but an official bilateral trip to Moscow has come slower than expected. In the same time, the Indian prime minister visited France and the United States twice, indicating what many see as India's changed priorities and the new-found friends that come with it...
However, the importance of Russia to India is far greater than a few arms sales. A pale shadow of the Soviet Union, Russia today still possesses enviable diplomatic clout, an excellent yet severely underfunded military-industrial technological complex, large deposits of natural resources, and a formidable military.