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Modi to Meet Putin in Moscow as India Charts Its Own Course

India probably realizes that the United States is “unlikely to penalize India for continuing its relationship with Russia,” Mr. Jacob said, with China emerging as Washington’s “principal adversary.”

Mr. Modi could also take up the contentious issue of Russia’s recruitment of Indian nationals to fight its war on Ukraine, according to Mr. Kwatra, the Indian foreign secretary. Several dozen Indian citizens were lured to Russia under “false pretenses,” he said, and the government is working to bring them back.

At the same time, India also needs American backing against China’s potential aggressions in its backyard. China and India have had several border clashes over the decades, including in 2022 and 2020, when 20 Indian soldiers and an unknown number of Chinese troops were killed. India needs munitions to defend its northern and eastern borders.

Russia is India’s largest supplier of military equipment, but over the years, the share of Russian arms has been declining — partly because that country has older technology. India has sought to diversify its sources of military supplies and pursue defense cooperation agreements, including with the United States. And the United States and India have also said that they would expand cooperation on advanced weaponry, supercomputing and other high-tech fields.

But American officials are concerned about providing equipment and sensitive technology to India if there is a risk that Russia’s military might gain access to it. On a recent visit to New Delhi, Kurt Campbell, the U.S. deputy secretary of state, said the United States wanted a strong technological relationship with India, and has been clear about “which areas are affected by the continuing relationship between India and Russia militarily and technologically.”

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