Washington: US State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said that they have seen reports claiming that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Russia in July. However, he refused to comment on the development until the visit was publicly confirmed by the two governments.

Asked about the US reaction as PM Modi is expected to visit Russia to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin next month, Miller responded, "So we've seen those reports. I haven't seen a visit publicly confirmed by either of the countries. So, I think I'll wait to decline comment until I see them publicly actually confirmed by the governments in question."

His remarks came after reports claimed that India and Russia are making arrangements for an upcoming visit by PM Modi to Russia. Russian Foreign Policy Adviser Yuri Ushakov confirmed the development, Russia-based RIA Novosti reported.

Yuri Ushakov said, "I can confirm that we are preparing a visit by the Prime Minister of India. We cannot yet (say) the dates, because the parties announce the dates in agreement. But we are actively preparing, I will emphasize once again, and this visit will take place."

PM Narendra Modi took the oath as Prime Minister of India for the third consecutive term on June 9. "The Russian President warmly congratulated Narendra Modi on the success of the Bharatiya Janata Party in the recent general parliamentary elections," the Russian President's office said in an official statement earlier.

If the visit takes place, it will be PM Modi's maiden trip to Russia since 2019, and also the first since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. Putin last visited New Delhi in 2021 for the annual India-Russia Summit, which hasn't been held in the past two years.

PM Modi last met Putin on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit at Samarkand in Uzbekistan on September 16, 2022, when the former said, "This is not an era of war" and called for following the path of dialogue and diplomacy to resolve the Ukraine conflict.

Despite growing strategic and security ties with the US and other key Western players, India has refrained from publicly criticising Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

India continued to purchase Russian crude despite initial pressure from the US, saying such a move is required to control domestic oil prices. However, India has time and again advocated for a cessation of hostilities in the Ukraine conflict and a return to the path of dialogue and diplomacy to find a lasting solution.

(With Inputs From Agencies)