India’s direct appeal to end Ukraine war at PM Narendra Modi-Vladimir Putin dinner

New Delhi :

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is currently on a two-day official visit to Russia, has made a direct appeal to end the war in Ukraine that has been going on for more than two years. During an informal meeting at President Vladimir Putin’s official residence in Moscow, Prime Minister Modi said that there can be no solution on the battlefield.

“India has always called for respect for the UN Charter, including territorial integrity and sovereignty. There is no solution on the battlefield. Dialogue and diplomacy are the way forward,” PM Modi is believed to have told Putin during the dinner.

PM Modi also expressed concern over Indians being tricked into joining the Russian army by unscrupulous travel agents. Sources say Russia has promised to repatriate all affected people.

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Around two dozen Indians are believed to have been conscripted into the war against Ukraine.

A viral video earlier this year showed a group from Punjab and Haryana – dressed in military uniform – claiming to have been duped into fighting in Ukraine and doubling down on their plea for help.

It is PM Modi’s first visit to Russia since his return to power for a third term last month, after launching his campaign in Ukraine. India has since refrained from openly condemning Russia and abstaining from United Nations resolutions condemning Moscow.

Congratulating Prime Minister Modi for a third term, Vladimir Putin said his re-election underscored Modi’s effectiveness in advancing India’s interests: “The results speak for themselves; India now ranks third globally in terms of economy.”

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The meeting marks the 16th meeting between Prime Minister Modi and President Putin in the past decade, with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit to be held in Samarkand, Uzbekistan in 2022.

In 2019, Prime Minister Modi was awarded Russia’s highest state award ‘Order of the Holy Apostle Andrew the First’.

This will be Prime Minister Modi’s first visit to Russia since the conflict between Moscow and Kiev began in 2022.

After wrapping up his visit to Russia, PM Modi will embark on a historic visit to Austria, the first visit by an Indian Prime Minister to the country in 40 years.

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