India’s president tells Putin: Now is not the time for war

In the latest series of setbacks for the Russian leader, Modi told him he must “walk the path of peace” and reminded him of the importance of “democracy, diplomacy and dialogue”.

Modi’s comments came during a face-to-face meeting on Friday on the sidelines of a regional summit, and highlighted Russia’s growing isolation on the diplomatic stage. They came just a day after Putin admitted that China also had “questions and concerns” about the invasion.

“I know today’s era is not war and we have talked to you many times over the phone about the topic that democracy, diplomacy and dialogue are all these things that touch the world,” Modi told Putin during the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Geneva. Samarkand city in Uzbekistan.

“We will certainly get a chance to discuss how we can move forward on the path of peace in the coming days, and I will also have a chance to understand your point of view,” he added. India Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Putin responded by telling the Indian leader that he was aware of his concerns.

“I know your position on the conflict in Ukraine and your concerns. We want all of this to end as soon as possible,” he said.

Modi’s apparent criticism of the Russian invasion is only the latest setback for Putin, whose forces have suffered a series of major battlefield defeats in recent weeks. Ukraine claims to have regained about 8,000 square kilometers of land.

Diplomatically, Moscow also appears to be losing ground, and this was highlighted by the exchanges at the Samarkand Summit, which brought together leaders from Russia, China, India, Pakistan, Iran and four countries in Central Asia.

It seemed that Moscow and Beijing would be eager to present a file united front At the summit to balance the United States and its allies.

However, there are signs of division over the Russian invasion, which has alarmed the leaders of the former Soviet territories in Central Asia who worry that Russia will encroach on their territory as well.

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India and China are Russia’s biggest oil customers, and suggestions over the past few days that they both have reservations about the war give Moscow plenty to think about.

Earlier at the summit, after acknowledging China’s concerns, Putin said: “We highly appreciate the balanced position of our Chinese friends when it comes to the Ukraine crisis.”

New Delhi, like Beijing, has Strong relations with Moscow Dating back to the Cold War and even now, it has largely strayed from outright condemnation of the Russian invasion, which remains India’s largest arms supplier.

In a statement issued after Friday’s meeting, India’s Ministry of External Affairs said the discussions between the two leaders “also related to global food security, energy security and fertilizer availability in the context of challenges arising from the current geopolitical situation”.

The ministry added that they “agreed to maintain contact.”

The meeting comes at a time when the heavy bombardment continues on the areas of southern and eastern Ukraine that were subjected to it re of the Russian forces. Ukrainian officials said they have at least discovered 440 graves in a mass burial site In the city of Izium in the recently liberated Kharkiv region.

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