New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin after Russia attacked Ukraine, and called for the “immediate cessation of violence”.
In the phone conversation, PM Modi also stressed that India attaches the “highest priority” to the safe exit and return of its citizens from Ukraine.
According to the Prime Minister’s Office, PM Modi called for concerted efforts from all sides to return to the path of diplomatic negotiations and asserted that differences between Russia and NATO can only be resolved through “honest and sincere” dialogue.
The leaders agreed that their officials and diplomatic teams would continue to maintain regular contacts on issues of topical interest, the PM’s Office said.
President Putin also briefed Prime Minister Modi about Ukraine, a Russian readout of the conversation said.
Putin outlined the fundamental assessments of “Kiev’s aggressive actions” against the civilian population of Donbass, as well as the many years of “destructive policy” aimed at breaking the Minsk agreements.
“In these circumstances, and also in connection with the unacceptable for Russia military development of the United States and its NATO allies on the territory of Ukraine, it was decided to launch a special military operation,” the Russian statement said on the conversation.
PM Modi “thanked President Putin for the clarification and asked for assistance in ensuring the security of Indian citizens currently in Ukraine”, said the Russian statement.
President Putin said “necessary instructions” would be given.
Some issues of bilateral cooperation were discussed in the context of the Russian-Indian summit held in December 2021, the statement said.
India has been pressing for de-escalation of tensions taking into account the legitimate security interests of all countries.
The PM Modi-Putin telephonic talk came hours after Ukraine’s India envoy Igor Polikha said the country was “deeply dissatisfied” with New Delhi’s position on the deteriorating situation.
Ambassador of Ukraine to India Igor Polikha said PM Modi is among a very few global leaders to whom President Putin listens to and New Delhi can leverage its proximity with Moscow to control the situation.
“PM Modi is one of the most powerful, respected world leaders… I don’t know how many world leaders Putin may listen to. But the stature of Modi-ji makes me hopeful that in case of his s strong voice, Putin at least should think over,” Ambassador Polikha said.
Though PM Modi urged an immediate end to the violence in Ukraine, India has so far avoided outright condemnation of Russia.
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