Samarkand, Uzbekistan: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Friday told Russian President Vladimir Putin that “peace must prevail”.
Referring to the Russia-Ukraine war, the PM took a strong stance for the first time and told Putin: “This is not an era for war…. We need to find a way with democracy, diplomacy and dialogue.”
Modi and Putin were meeting on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in Uzbekistan, which concluded Friday. “We need to understand your viewpoint also, but still it needs to be understood by you that peace has to prevail,” added Modi.
Putin, in turn, told PM Modi that Moscow will “do its best to stop” the Ukraine war “as soon as possible” and added that India-Russia bilateral ties are “developing”.
“Russian-Indian relations are developing. They are in the nature of a particularly privileged strategic partnership and continue to develop actively. We are actively cooperating on international platforms, discussing all the situations that are developing in the world, including those that are sometimes unfavourable,” Putin told Modi during their meeting on the sidelines of the SCO Summit in Uzbekistan, which concluded Friday.
Putin added, “I know your position on the conflict in Ukraine, your concerns that you constantly express. We will do our best to stop this as soon as possible. Only, unfortunately, the opposing side, the leadership of Ukraine, announced its abandonment of the negotiation process, declaring that it wants to achieve its goals by military means, as they say, on the battlefield.”
Modi also told Putin that the two nations needed to “find ways to address the energy and food crisis that has escalated due to the Ukraine war.”
Putin has said both leaders are actively working on the SCO platform and coordinating with each other.
“Despite the coronavirus restrictions we spoke on the phone four times. Our employees are constantly in contact with each other…. I warmly recall my visit to New Delhi in December last year and fruitful talks with you. I would like to take this opportunity to invite you to visit Russia,” said Putin, according to a statement issued by the Kremlin.
Putin told Modi, “Constructive relations are evidently developing in the economic sphere. The trade turnover is growing, including due to, as you asked, additional deliveries of Russian fertilisers to the Indian market.”
“Deliveries of fertilisers from Russia to India increased by more than eight times — not by some percentage, but by more than eight times. I hope that this will help Indian farmers to solve the difficult tasks of providing food for the country’s population,” he added.
Large-scale joint projects in the oil and gas sector and in the nuclear power industry are also being consistently implemented, Putin said.
According to the Kremlin statement, he said, “For Russians, the rich history and ancient culture of India are traditionally of great interest. In this regard, we propose to intensify the negotiation process on an agreement on visa-free tourist trips.”
(This is an updated version of the report)
(Edited by Zinnia Ray Chaudhuri)
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