PM Modi makes a direct appeal to end war with Ukraine

Moscow: During a two-day official visit to Moscow, Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a direct appeal to Russian President Vladimir Putin to end the ongoing Ukraine war, which has persisted for over two years. The appeal was made during a dinner at Putin’s residence.

In an informal meeting at Putin’s official residence, PM Modi emphasized that a battlefield solution is unattainable. “India has always advocated for respecting the UN Charter, including territorial integrity and sovereignty. Dialogue and diplomacy are the way forward,” PM Modi reportedly told Putin during their discussion.

PM Modi also expressed concerns about Indian nationals being deceived by unscrupulous travel agents into joining the Russian army. Nearly two dozen Indians were allegedly tricked into going to Russia under the guise of obtaining high-paying jobs and then coerced into fighting in the war against Ukraine.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy reacted sharply to PM Modi’s visit and his interaction with Putin, especially noting the embrace shared between the two leaders amid the ongoing conflict. Zelenskyy took to social media, stating, “It is a huge disappointment and a devastating blow to peace efforts to see the leader of the world’s largest democracy hug the world’s most bloody criminal in Moscow on such a day.”

Visuals from the meeting showed PM Modi and President Putin drinking tea on a terrace at Putin’s home in Novo-Ogaryovo, and the Indian Prime Minister being driven around in a golf cart. The photo of Modi hugging Putin has been widely circulated online.

PM Modi’s visit, his first to Russia since the war began and since assuming his third term in office, is seen as an effort to maintain India’s longstanding relationship with Russia while also courting closer ties with the West amid the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

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