PRIME Minister Narendra Modi on Friday pressed Russian President Vladimir Putin to end the conflict in Ukraine soon, saying “today’s era is not of war” even as he called for finding ways to address the global food and energy security crisis.
In a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the annual summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in this Silk Road city, Modi also underlined the importance of “democracy, dialogue and diplomacy” while calling for an early cessation of hostilities in Ukraine.
“Today the biggest worry before the world, especially developing countries, is food security, fuel security, fertilisers. We must find ways on these problems and you will also have to consider it. We will get an opportunity to talk about these issues,” Modi said in his opening remarks. It was the first in-person meeting between the two leaders after the Ukraine conflict began in February.
“I know today’s era is not of war. We discussed this issue with you on phone several times, that democracy, diplomacy and dialogue touch the entire world. We will have the opportunity to talk today about how we can move forward on the road of peace,” Modi said.
In a statement, the Ministry of External Affairs said, the Prime Minister reiterated his call for an early cessation of hostilities and the need for dialogue and diplomacy in the context of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. On his part, Putin told Modi that he was aware of India’s concerns over the Ukraine conflict and that Russia will do everything possible to end it as soon as possible. “I know about your position on the conflict in Ukraine. I know about your concerns. I know that you share these concerns and we all want an end to all of these as soon as possible,” Putin said in his televised opening remarks at the meeting.
The Russian President said, Ukraine has refused to engage in the negotiation process and it wants to achieve its “objectives on the battlefield militarily.” “We will keep you abreast of everything that is happening over there,” Putin conveyed to Modi.