Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin will hold a personal meeting on Friday on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Uzbekistan. The discussion between the top leaders of the two countries will include the issue of Russian fertilizer trade in the Indian market, the Kremlin said.

Reuters reported that the meeting between the two leaders is planned to discuss Russian fertilizer and bilateral food supplies in the Indian market.

The two leaders are also expected to discuss strategic stability, the situation in the Asia Pacific region and bilateral cooperation between the United Nations and the G20.

Russian news agency Tass quoted presidential aide Yuri Ushakov as saying, ‘International agenda will also be discussed with Modi. Both countries will discuss cooperation on issues such as strategic stability, the situation in the Asia Pacific region, the United Nations and the G20.

Ushakov told reporters on Tuesday, ‘This is particularly important, as India will hold the presidency of the UN Security Council in December and lead the SCO in 2023. He will also preside over the G-20.

However, India’s Ministry of External Affairs has not yet confirmed the meeting between Prime Minister Modi and President Putin.

The meeting will take place against the backdrop of crude oil purchases from Russia, which faces Western sanctions as a result of its aggression against Ukraine.

India has consistently defended its position. The country’s foreign minister Dr. S Jaishankar said Indians cannot buy fuel at high prices. Our per capita income is only 2 thousand dollars. The people of the country have not reached a stage where they can buy fuel at high prices. It is my obligation and moral responsibility to make the best possible deal for them.

He also said that other countries, including the US, know India’s position and will ‘proceed this way’.

Meanwhile, trade between Russia and India has increased, according to the TASS report. In the first six months of 2022, trade between the two countries reached $11.5 billion.

(September 14)