Wednesday, May, 22,2024

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Russia, Ukraine see PM Modi role as peacemaker, invite him to visit countries after polls

New Delhi: The separate telephonic conversations that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had with Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskyy is being seen as a fresh affirmation of how PM Modi is being seen as a peacemaker between the countries that are locked in a protracted military conflict, sources said.

During the telephonic conversation on Wednesday, PM Modi received invitations from Russian President Putin and Zelenskyy to visit the two countries amid the ongoing conflict, according to sources. 

Earlier, on Wednesday, PM Modi also held a telephonic conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin and separately with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and reiterated India's stand on dialogue and diplomacy as a way for the resolution of the ongoing war against Ukraine, said an official release.

In conversation with the Ukrainian President, PM Modi reiterated India's people-centric approach and called for dialogue and diplomacy as the way forward in the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

The Prime Minister noted that India supports all efforts for an early and peaceful resolution of all issues between the parties. He added that India would continue to do everything within its means to support a peaceful solution.

After the telephonic conversation Zelenskyy posted on X " I spoke with Prime Minister Narendra Modi to express gratitude for India's support for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, humanitarian aid, and active participation in Peace Formula meetings. It will be important for us to see India attend the inaugural Peace Summit, which is currently being prepared in Switzerland. We discussed the development of our bilateral relations, which should include a meeting of our teams and a session of the intergovernmental commission on cooperation in New Delhi in the nearest future. Ukraine is interested in strengthening our trade and economic ties with India, particularly in agricultural exports, aviation cooperation, and pharmaceutical and industrial product trade."

A PMO release also said that the two leaders discussed ways to further strengthen India-Ukraine partnership in various spheres.

President Zelenskyy appreciated India's continued humanitarian assistance for the people of Ukraine. The two leaders agreed to remain in touch.

The two leaders agreed to make concerted efforts towards further strengthening the Special & Privileged Strategic Partnership between the two countries in the years to come. They also reviewed progress in various issues of bilateral cooperation, and exchanged views on regional and global issues of mutual interest.

"While discussing the Russia-Ukraine conflict, PM reiterated India's consistent position in favour of dialogue and diplomacy as the way forward," a PMO release said.

Meanwhile, the Kremlin also shared details of President Putin's conversation with PM Modi and said that the former informed the latter about the ongoing situation in the war-torn region of Ukraine.

President Putin also emphasised Ukraine's refusal to take political and diplomatic steps to settle the conflict.

"The President of Russia gave his assessment of the current state of affairs in the zone of the special military operation. He emphasised Kiev's categorical refusal to take political and diplomatic steps to settle the conflict," the President of Russia said in a statement.

"In connection with the events of June 24, Narendra Modi expressed understanding and support of the resolute actions by the Russian leadership to protect law and order and ensure stability in the country and security of its people," it added.

On June 24, 2023, Yevgeny Prigozhin, the chief of the Wagner Group, led an armed rebellion against the Russian defence minister. The rebellion started in Rostov-on-Don, in southern Russia, and forces loyal to Prigozhin marched toward Moscow.

The rebellion was called off after Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko intervened. In a televised address on June 24, President of Russia Vladimir Putin denounced Wagner's actions as treason and pledged to quell the rebellion.

Further in the conversation, both leaders discussed the bilateral cooperation between the two countries and expressed their satisfaction over the increase in trade.

"During the discussion of topical issues of bilateral cooperation, the leaders noted the importance of further consistent implementation of large-scale joint projects in different areas and voiced their satisfaction over a tangible increase in trade in 2022 and the first quarter of the current year," Kremlin said.

"Special attention was paid to interaction in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and the G20, in which India is holding the rotating presidency this year, and in the BRICS format. In addition, Narendra Modi told Vladimir Putin about his international contacts, including his recent visit to Washington," it added.

The statement said further, "The conversation was substantive and constructive. The leaders confirmed their mutual desire to strengthen the Russia-India specially privileged strategic partnership and planned future contacts."

Earlier in 2022, PM Modi's advice to Russian President Vladimir Putin over the Ukraine war during a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization's summit in Uzbekistan's Samarkand has grabbed the attention of leading international media organisations.

"Today's era is not of war and I have spoken to you about it on the call. Today we will get the opportunity to talk about how we can progress on the path of peace. India and Russia have stayed together with each other for several decades," PM Modi told Putin expressing his concerns about the impact of the war on food and energy security.

"We spoke several times on the phone about India-Russia bilateral relations and various issues. We should find ways to address the problems of food, fuel security and fertilizers. I want to thank Russia and Ukraine for helping us to evacuate our students from Ukraine," he added.

International media praised PM Modi's diplomatic acumen, who, in a friendly tone, pushed the concerns of the global community to its long-standing friend Russia.

American media giant CNN praised PM Modi's hold on world politics and reported "Indian leader Narendra Modi tells Putin: Now is not the time for war."

Earlier, this month, CNN published a report claiming that PM Modi averted a possible nuclear escalation between Russia and Ukraine amid the ongoing military conflict.

The report stated that outreach from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other countries, as well, played an important role in dialing down the crisis.

The Biden administration was specifically concerned Russia might use a tactical or battlefield nuclear weapon, the officials said.

Amid the fears, the US sought to enlist the help of non-allies including India, to discourage Russia from such an attack, CNN reported.

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