TALLINN: In a recent statement at the ‘Russia Calling’ forum, Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed admiration for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, commending his resolute approach in safeguarding India’s interests without succumbing to external pressures.
President Putin not only lauded Modi’s unwavering stance but also declared his intention to contest the upcoming Russian presidential elections in 2024. Putin emphasized that the robust bilateral relations between India and Russia hinge significantly on Prime Minister Modi’s policies, describing them as the cornerstone of their strengthening ties.
According to the news report, the Russian President conveyed his confidence in Modi’s ability to resist intimidation and external influence, stating, “I cannot imagine that Modi can be intimidated or forced to take any step or decision contrary to the people of India or the interests of India.” According to Putin, the deepening collaboration between India and Russia across various domains reflects the strength of their alliance, which, he hinted, might be causing concern for some nations applying pressure on India.
Addressing queries about discussions on this matter between him and Prime Minister Modi, Putin clarified that there had been no such conversations. He stated, “I am only watching what is happening from the outside, and at times, frankly, I am surprised by Modi’s tough stance to protect India’s national interests.”
This praise for Modi is not the first of its kind from Putin. In June, the Russian President had referred to Modi as a “close friend of Russia.” He commended Modi for implementing the Make in India scheme, recognizing its positive impact on the Indian economy. Putin acknowledged that while Make in India might not align with Russia’s plans, supporting a friend’s initiative is always beneficial.
Despite the challenges posed by the global geopolitical landscape, India has consistently defended its ties with Russia. Foreign Minister S Jaishankar emphasized the enduring nature of the relationship, underscoring its resilience even in the face of adversity. The reaffirmation of these strong diplomatic bonds sets the stage for continued collaboration between the two nations on various fronts.
Election 2024: Putin Declares Bid for Re-election, Set to Extend Rule Until 2030
Vladimir Putin has announced his candidacy for a fifth term in office, revealing his intentions at an awards ceremony honoring participants in the full-scale war he initiated against Ukraine in 2022. This declaration follows the recent scheduling of the presidential election on 15-17 March 2024 by election officials.
At 71 years old, Putin’s re-election appears inevitable, given the near absence of opposition and his control over the Russian media landscape. Having previously served as president from 2000 to 2008, Putin returned to the role after a stint as prime minister in 2012, surpassing the tenure of any ruler in Russia since Soviet dictator Josef Stalin.
The constitutional amendment in 2020, extending the presidential term from four to six years, provides Putin with a clean slate to run again, effectively nullifying his prior terms. A victory in the upcoming March election would enable him to remain president until 2030. Moreover, with the possibility of standing for another term, Putin could potentially extend his rule until 2036, showcasing a formidable political tenure in the Russian landscape.