Highlighting Russia’s growing international isolation after the Chinese leader limited to providing comprehensive support about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi told President Vladimir V. Putin on Friday that there is no time for war.
Speaking on the sidelines of a regional security summit in Uzbekistan, Modi said the world is facing major challenges, including food and energy crises that are particularly affecting the developing world. developing country.
“I know that in this day and age there is no war,” he said. “Today we will have the opportunity to discuss how we can move forward on the path of peace in the coming days.”
The tone of the meeting was friendly, both leaders mentioning their long shared history. Before Mr. Modi made his comments, Mr. Putin said he understood India’s concerns about the war in Ukraine.
“I know your stance on the conflict in Ukraine, your concerns that you have constantly expressed. We will do our best to prevent this as soon as possible,” he said. “Unfortunately, the opposition, the leader of Ukraine, has announced that it has abandoned the negotiation process,” he added.
Mr. Modi’s comments came a day after China’s President Xi Jinping – in his first face-to-face meeting with Mr Putin since the invasion began – adopted a softer tone. much more than the President of Russia and is evident in his public comments. of any mention of Ukraine. The muted Chinese support is a sign that Russia lacks the full backing of its most powerful international partner as it tries to recover from a humiliating journey in northeastern Ukraine. last week.
With Russia subject to Western sanctions, India and China have become important financiers for Moscow, including buying Russian energy at a discount – placing themselves in the middle of a bitter battle. turmoil with Ukraine and a geopolitical stalemate with the West. Both countries have also supported Putin against resolutions at the United Nations in which India abstained from criticizing Russia’s aggression even as it expressed concern about the violence.
India’s stable relationship with Moscow long before it expanded its relationship with the United States. Russia remains the main source of cheaper weapons for the Indian military, which is increasingly stretched in a hostile region.
From the very beginning of the war, India sought to forge a middle ground in the Ukraine crisis, trying to maximize its leverage in the global arena without constraining economic opportunity. It ignored calls from the US and Europe not to buy Russian oil, causing buy discount crude oil from Russia as a necessity at a time of rising food and fuel prices – even if Ukraine top diplomat said “The discount must be paid with the blood of Ukrainians.”
With that, India has called for dialogue while avoiding challenging Russia as an aggressor, with its officials quietly stressing that its country is a mediating power and needs to maintain its relationship. relations and credibility with both Russia and the West to help create peace.
Maharajakrishna Rasgotra, India’s former foreign minister, said India has developed “special relationships” with dozens of neutral countries that can rally around a call for peace and save Mr. Putin’s withdrawal. .
“This war in Ukraine will end like all other wars by great powers in small countries have ended in the past,” Mr. Rasgotra said. say on Thursday. “The start of a retreat has already begun. As a friend of Russia, how can we help them? “