"Reports of PM Modi not meeting Putin due to nuclear threat is baseless. The meeting is not taking place due to scheduling issues," sources told ANI. The annual summit between the Indian Prime Minister and the Russian President is the highest institutionalized dialogue mechanism in the strategic partnership between the two countries.
Several media reports speculated that the annual in-person summit had been cancelled due to the Russian President alleged threats to use nuclear weapons in the Ukraine war.
"The meeting between New Delhi and Moscow is not taking place due to scheduling issues," the sources said adding that the decision has nothing to do with the ongoing Ukraine conflict.
Since 2000, India and Russia have maintained an annual summit mechanism. The last annual summit was held at the Hyderabad house in New Delhi in December 2021 in which Putin had attended in person and this year PM Modi was slated to travel to Moscow for the summit.
Due to COVID-19, in-person summits were not held in 2020.
In 2021 PM Modi, and Putin held their first 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue and also signed an agreement for the procurement of 6,01,427 assault rifles AK-203 through Indo-Russia Rifles Pvt Ltd, under the military-technical cooperation arrangement for 2021-31. The India-Russia 2+2 Dialogue marked the first 2+2 meeting between the foreign and defence ministers of the two countries.
In September this year on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in Uzbekistan's Samarkand when the two leaders met for a bilateral meeting, PM Modi told President Putin that this was "not an era of war." This statement by PM Modi also was cited in the G20 Summit in Indonesia's Bali.
In November this year, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar visted Moscow and held talks with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in which Jaishankar raised concern about the consequences emanating from the Ukraine conflict that have affected energy and food security around the world.
Holding the press briefing with Lavrov, Jaishankar said he exchanged views on international issues with the Russian side, in which the Ukraine conflict was the dominant feature.
On November 17, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Vershinin was received in New Delhi by Vinay Kwatra, India's Foreign Secretary and held extensive foreign policy consultations with Sanjay Verma, Secretary (West). Following the talks India and Russia agreed to "deepen cooperation" on counter-terrorism issues and "enhance bilateral coordination" at the United Nations.
India and Russia has also held wide-ranging discussions on issues on the United Nations Security Council agenda and recent developments, according to a statement by the Russian Foreign Ministry.
Vershinin congratulated India on its upcoming Presidency of the UN Security Council in December 2022.