INDIA/UNITED STATES: The United States has appreciated Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s comments to Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict. India’s sharpest response to President Putin is that now was not the time for war.
Modi had been in constant contact with Putin since the inception of the “special military operation” launched against Ukraine on February 24. The Indian PM has been seeking dialogue and peace talks, but without explicitly commenting on the war. India’s biggest defence provider for years, Russia is now a big supplier of oil and coal too.
“I think what Prime Minister Modi said – a statement of principle on behalf of what he believes is right and just – was very much welcomed by the United States,” U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters at a news conference on Tuesday.
All countries should follow the principle that one cannot conquer its neighbour’s territory by force, he added. “We would like to see every country in the world making that case,” Sullivan said.
“They can do it publicly if they like. They can do it privately if they like. But sending that clear and unmistakable message to Moscow at this time is the most vital thing I think we can collectively do to produce peace in that region.”
On the sidelines of a conference in Uzbekistan on Friday, Modi told Putin, “Today’s era is not an era of war, and I have spoken to you on the phone about this,” and added that democracy, diplomacy and dialogue kept the world together.
Putin had been well aware that Modi had been keeping tabs on his actions, like every other world leader, and was concerned about how the crisis would pan out. The Russian leader added, “We will do everything to stop this as soon as possible.”
Many U.S. diplomats and officials have visited India since the war began and convince the South Asian leaders to gradually reduce reliance on Russia in defence and other sectors.