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Dialogue, diplomacy only way forward in Ukraine, Modi tells Putin

Last updated on: December 16, 2022 21:15 IST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday spoke to Russian President Vladimir Putin and reiterated his call for dialogue and diplomacy as "the only way" forward to resolve the Ukraine crisis.

The two leaders also reviewed bilateral cooperation in areas of energy, trade and defence during a telephonic conversation.

A Russian readout said Putin gave "fundamental assessments of Russia's line on the Ukrainian direction at the request of Modi".

The Prime Minister's office (PMO) said Modi briefed the Russian president on India's ongoing presidency of the G-20, highlighting its key priorities.

It was the fifth telephonic talk between the two leaders this year. They held phone conversations on February 24, March 2, March 7 and July 1.


Modi and Putin held a bilateral meeting in Uzbekistan's Samarkand on September 16 during which the prime minister told him that "today's era is not of war" and nudged the Russian leader to end the conflict.

"Following up on their meeting in Samarkand on the sidelines of the SCO Summit, the two leaders reviewed several aspects of the bilateral relationship, including energy cooperation, trade and investments, defence and security cooperation, and other key areas," the PMO said in a statement.

"In the context of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, the prime minister reiterated his call for dialogue and diplomacy as the only way forward," it said.

The phone conversation came days after it emerged that Modi will not be travelling to Russia for the annual India-Russia summit this year.

Putin visited India last year for the summit.

"The prime minister briefed President Putin on India's ongoing presidency of the G-20, highlighting its key priorities. He also looked forward to both countries working together during India's Chairship of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation," it said.

The PMO said the two leaders agreed to remain in regular touch with each other.

The Russian readout said the two leaders discussed prospects for cooperation in areas such as mutual investment, energy, agriculture, transport and logistics.

"Having expressed satisfaction with the high level of bilateral cooperation developing on the principles of the Russian-Indian special and privileged strategic partnership, the leaders discussed in detail the prospects for practical interaction in such areas as mutual investment, energy, agriculture, transport and logistics," it said.

It said Modi and Putin underscored the importance of continuing close coordination within the framework of international organisations, including in the context of the Indian presidency in the G20 and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.

"At the request of Narendra Modi, Vladimir Putin gave fundamental assessments of Russia's line in the Ukrainian direction," it said.

The call between the two leaders came on a day, officials said that Russian forces launched at least 60 missiles across Ukraine, reporting explosions in at least four cities, including Kyiv.

India has been ramping up its procurement of crude oil from Russia notwithstanding increasing disquiet in the Western countries.

New Delhi has not yet criticised Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine and it has been pressing for resolving the conflict through dialogue.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar visited Russia last month during which both sides vowed to expand their economic engagement including New Delhi's import of petroleum products from its "time-tested" partner.

After holding wide-ranging talks with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov and Deputy Prime Denis Manturov in Moscow, Jaishankar had said India would be supportive of any initiative that "de-risks" the global economy and stabilises the global order at this stage.

On India's import of crude oil from Russia, Jaishankar said it is India's fundamental obligation to ensure that Indian consumers have the best possible access on the most advantageous terms to international markets.

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