New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday, September 16, told Russian President Vladimir Putin that it was not a time for war, with food, fertiliser and fuel security among the major concerns of the world at present.
“I know that today’s era is not an era of war, and I have spoken to you on the phone about this,” Modi told Putin on the sidelines of a regional security bloc summit in Uzbekistan, adding that democracy, diplomacy and dialogue keep the world together.
Putin said that he understood Modi’s concerns about the Ukraine war. “I know about your position on the conflict in Ukraine, and I know about your concerns. We want all of this to end as soon as possible.
Unfortunately, the opposing side, the leadership of Ukraine, announced its abandonment of the negotiation process, and declared that it wants to achieve its goals by military means, as they say, ‘on the battlefield. Nevertheless, we will always keep you informed of what is happening there,” Putin said in response to Modi, according to a statement issued by the Kremlin.
Putin said that he understood Modi’s concerns about the Ukraine war. “I know about your position on the conflict in Ukraine, and I know about your concerns. We want all of this to end as soon as possible.”
The two leaders met for the first time since the Russia-Ukraine conflict broke out in February this year. Although India has not denounced the Russian invasion, it has been calling for a diplomatic resolution of the crisis. They also reportedly discussed other bilateral, regional and global issues, according to the news agency Press Trust of India.
“The leaders appreciated the sustained momentum in bilateral ties, including contacts at various levels. President Putin expressed appreciation for Prime Minister’s video-message at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok earlier this month,” a press release from the ministry of external affairs stated.
Modi and Putin spoke on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) meeting, whose permanent members, besides India, include China, Russia, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
The summit of the eight-nation influential grouping is taking place amid the growing geo-political turmoil largely triggered by the Russian invasion of Ukraine and China’s aggressive military posturing in the Taiwan Strait.
“Our trade is growing, thanks to your additional supplies of Russian fertilisers to the Indian markets, which have grown more than eightfold. I am hopeful that this is going to be of huge help to the agricultural sector of India,” Putin said.
Putin, who also met Chinese President Xi Jinping at the summit, acknowledged Beijing’s concerns about the war.