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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.”
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