India and Russia’s historically close relationship has been complicated by geopolitical realities but last week’s summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Vladimir Putin demonstrated the extent to which both sides intend to stay close, even if it risks rankling the United States and China.

Harsha Kakar, a retired major general in the Indian army, said the meeting proved that despite Russia’s close ties with China, and India’s with the West, and “regardless of whatever alignments the countries may be part of, a relationship that has been built up over the years should not be eroded due to geopolitical changes”.