Advertisement

  • News
  • Columns
  • Interviews
  • BW Communities
  • Events
  • BW TV
  • Subscribe to Print
BW Businessworld

“Today’s Era Is Not Of War,” Modi Tells Putin Appealing For End To Ukraine War

Samarkand plain-speak is the highlight of the SCO Summit, as PM urges Russian President for focus on food and energy security

Photo Credit : Ministry of External Affairs

1663402478_EWwX3Z_Modi_Putin_2.jpg

Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a one-on-one meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the SCO Summit at Samarkand, Uzbekistan

In his first in-person meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Prime Minister Narendra Modi appealed for an early end to the War and a recourse to dialogue and diplomacy to resolve the issue.

This bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the 22nd Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit at Samarkand, Uzbekistan, on September 16 turned out to be the highlight of the keenly-watched event. 

The Russian President, known for his hardline position on Ukraine, was not dismissive of this call although he quickly put the onus for the end of the War on Ukraine. 

This was the first time an appeal to end hostilities was made by a world leader to President Putin in person in a televised event in a non-adversarial manner. 

“I know that today's era is not of war and we have spoken to you many times on the phone that democracy, diplomacy and dialogue are such things that touch the world. Today we will get a chance to discuss how we can move forward on the path of peace in the coming days. I will also get an opportunity to understand your viewpoint,” Modi told Putin. 

“Today, the biggest concerns facing the world and especially the developing countries are the problems of food security, fuel security, fertilizers; and we must find some way out and you too must contribute to that. Today we will get an opportunity to discuss those issues,” the Prime Minister said, while stressing in the course of his opening remarks that the India-Russia friendship is “unbreakable”. 

Significantly, President Putin did not show disregard for the suggestion. “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.  However, unfortunately, the opposing side, the leadership of Ukraine, announced its refusal to continue negotiations and declared that they wanted to achieve their goals by military means, as they say "on the battlefield."  But nevertheless, we will always keep you informed of what is happening there,” Putin responded. 

While abstaining from voting against Russia at the UN, India has consistently appealed for respect for territorial sovereignty of Ukraine, cessation of War and resort to dialogue and diplomacy. 

Highlighting the depth of ties, Putin said the supply of fertilisers by Russia to India had increased by more than eight times on India’s request. “I hope this will help Indian farmers solve the complex tasks of providing food for the country's population,” he said. 

He also made a mention of partnerships in the oil and gas sector and the nuclear power industry, and said the two sides should “intensify the negotiation process” for an agreement on visa free access for tourism. Putin also invited Modi to visit Russia later this year for the annual dialogue. 

Modi also met the Presidents of Iran, Turkey and the host country, Uzbekistan. In his meeting with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, the two leaders reviewed the progress in the development of the Shahid Behesti terminal at Chabahar Port and underscored the importance of bilateral cooperation in the field of regional connectivity. 

“Prime Minister reiterated India’s priorities of providing humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan and the need for a representative and inclusive political dispensation in support of a peaceful, stable and secure Afghanistan,” the Ministry of External Affairs stated. He also invited President Raisi to visit India. 

Modi and Turkish President Erdogan acknowledged the potential for further enhancement of economic and commercial linkages.