PM Modi holds talks with Putin, reiterates India’s long-standing position on Ukraine conflict

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday held a telephonic conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin and reiterated India’s long-standing position in favour of dialogue and diplomacy amid the ongoing situation in Ukraine.

“In the context of the ongoing situation in Ukraine, the Prime Minister reiterated India’s long-standing position in favour of dialogue and diplomacy,” read the release by the Prime Minister’s Office.

The two leaders reviewed the implementation of the decisions taken during President Putin’s visit to India in December 2021. They also exchanged ideas on how bilateral trade in agricultural goods, fertilizers and pharma products could be encouraged further.

The leaders further discussed global issues, including the state of the international energy and food markets. The leaders agreed to maintain regular consultations on global and bilateral issues.

Since the war started on February 24 in Ukraine, PM Modi has been appealing to both Russia and Ukraine for peace and an end to hostilities.

Earlier, the Prime Minister intervened and had spoken with Russian President Putin and suggested that a direct conversation between the presidents of Russia and Ukraine may greatly assist the ongoing peace efforts to deal with the ongoing conflict.

PM Modi had also spoken with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and expressed his deep anguish about the loss of life and property due to the ongoing conflict.

These talks also come after the G7 nations criticized Russia for its war on Ukraine. Prime Minister Modi, however, made India’s position clear on the Ukraine conflict at the G7 summit as well. The Prime Minister reiterated that there must be an immediate end to the hostilities and a resolution should be reached by choosing the path of dialogue and diplomacy.

At the G7 outreach summit, PM Modi had also spoken with the world leaders on the knockdown effect of the conflict in Eastern Europe on the food security crisis, especially in vulnerable countries.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar earlier this month hit back at the unfair criticism of Indian oil purchase from Russia amid the Ukraine war that has created a knock-off effect on the world economy.

While defending India’s oil imports from Russia, Jaishankar stressed that it is important to understand how the Ukraine conflict is impacting the developing countries. He also questioned why only India was being questioned while Europe continues to import gas from Russia amid the Ukraine war.

Responding to a question on whether India’s oil import from Russia is not funding the ongoing Ukraine war, Jaishankar said, “Look I don’t want to sound argumentative. If India funding Russia oil is funding the war… Tell me then buying Russian gas is not funding the war? It’s only Indian money and Russian oil coming to India funding the war and not Russia’s gas coming to Europe not funding? Let’s be a little even-handed.”

At the GLOBSEC 2022 Bratislava Forum in Slovakia, Jaishankar said, the packages of sanctions imposed by the European Union are imposed keeping in mind the interest of certain European nations.

“…if you can be considerate to yourself, you can be considerate to other people. If a Europe says, if we have to manage it in a way impact on the economy is not traumatic, that freedom should exist for other people as well,” he said.