Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, who recently visited India to attend a business summit, has announced that Moscow and New Delhi will reset ties in the coming days.

Rogozin made the announcement after holding talks with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the summit in Gandhinagar earlier this week. The two leaders discussed various aspects of bilateral ties, with a special focus on trade and business. Prime Minister Modi welcomed Moscow’s decision to increase the volume of investment in various Indian provinces, saying that Russia should explore investment opportunities in areas of diamond cutting and polishing, dairy production and automobile sector.

On the occasion, the Indian premier offered condolence on the recent killing of the Russian ambassador to Turkey. Meanwhile, Rogozin conveyed President Vladimir Putin and PM Dmitry Medvedev’s commitment to further strengthening the Indo-Russian strategic partnership.

According to sources close to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), PM Modi told the visiting deputy PM that India was ready to reset ties with Russia, with Moscow being the current focus of global geopolitics. According to the Indian PM, it becomes necessary to give the Indo-Russian ties a whole new look because of the changing global geopolitical landscape. Modi and Rogozin also exchanged views on different global issues, including the Syrian crisis, Palestinian crisis and crisis in Iraq.

Indian foreign policy experts are of the opinion that the Modi-Rogozin meeting acquired importance in the present global context, as it was the first high-level meet between the two countries after President Putin’s visit to India in October 2016. Although the Indo-Russian ties have been built on solid foundations, they could go either way especially after the inauguration of newly-elected American President Donald Trump.

As Trump has already hinted that his administration will reset the US’ relations with Russia, India (too) plans to reset ties with its “old friend”. It means that the top political leadership in New Delhi considers Trump’s move as a positive development. So far, nobody in India has expected the US and Russia to resolve their decades-old outstanding issues. But if President Trump and President Putin can normalise their ties, it will ultimately help Russia balance its over-dependence on China and allow India to work together with Russia and the US. And if Russia plans to strengthen defence ties with Pakistan, then India will take different measures and reduce purchasing Russian weaponry.

In Gandhinagar, Rogozin once again assured Modi that Russia would not do anything that could affect India’s security interests. The Russian leader made the assurance after PM Modi stressed that Moscow’s purported engagement of the Taliban in Afghanistan would be problematic for New Delhi.

Koushik Das, based in the Indian capital of New Delhi, is a senior news editor with more than 15 years of experience. He also runs a blog - Boundless Ocean of Politics. E-Mail: [email protected]