Russia-Ukraine War: PM Modi meets Putin, calls for ceasefire, dialogue to resolve crisis

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New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi had a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin regarding Russia’s military campaign against Ukraine on Thursday.

Russian President Vladimir Putin briefed Prime Minister Narendra Modi about the recent developments regarding Ukraine during the meeting.  

According to a PMO statement, PM Modi stressed the importance of resolving the issue through dialogue.

“Prime Minister reiterated his long-standing conviction that the differences between Russia and the NATO group can only be resolved through honest and sincere dialogue. Prime Minister appealed for an immediate cessation of violence, and called for concerted efforts from all sides to return to the path of diplomatic negotiations and dialogue,” the PMO statement read.

PM Modi also expressed concern over the safety of Indians in Ukraine and urged Putin to ensure their safe exit. 

“Prime Minister also sensitised the Russian President about India’s concerns regarding the safety of the Indian citizens in Ukraine, especially students, and conveyed that India attaches the highest priority to their safe exit and return to India,” the PMO statement said.

“The leaders agreed that their officials and diplomatic teams would continue to maintain regular contacts on issues of topical interest.”

Earlier, addressing the media on the Ukraine situation, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said, “In our statements in the UNSC, in all of this, I think we have maintained that people need to talk to each other, parties need to be engaged. If there is anything that we can do to facilitate that engagement, we are more than happy to do. I think as we go along, we will try and be as helpful as possible.”

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He was asked if India is playing any role in talking to both USA and Russia in regards to the Russia-Ukraine crisis and the military operations initiated by Russia.

The Foreign Secretary said India has maintained the best of relations with all countries concerned.

“Whether it is USA, Russia or the European Union. We have been in touch with all parties concerned. As you can imagine, both as a member of the Security Council as a country with a lot at stake in that region. As a country with so many of its citizens in the vulnerable zone, we have been in close touch with all concerned. The Minister of External Affairs was in Europe where he has had a number of meetings with his interlocutors,” Shringla said.

“This evening, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be speaking to President Vladimir Putin. The Minister of External Affairs himself has spoken to a number of Ministers from the European Union and will be speaking to those of his counterparts who are from the neighbouring countries, which is very important primarily for our own citizens and their safe evacuation out of Ukraine.

“Our focus in the UNSC has always been on de-escalation of tensions, diplomatic dialogue is the only way forward. We have also emphasised on the existing agreements, the Minsk agreements, the Normandy Format. We have also obviously placed the highest importance on the safety and security of our nationals in Ukraine,” he added.

The Indian embassy in Kyiv earlier today said the present situation in Ukraine is highly uncertain and Indian citizens should remain calm and safe amid escalating situation in Ukraine following the Russian military operations. 

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first published:Feb. 24, 2022, 10:58 p.m.

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