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regular-article-logo Thursday, 30 May 2024

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Vladimir Putin discuss Ukraine over phone

According to a Kremlin readout, the conversation took place at India’s behest

Anita Joshua New Delhi Published 01.07.23, 06:45 AM
Vladimir Putin and Narendra Modi.

Vladimir Putin and Narendra Modi. File Photo

Russian President Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday during which the situation in Ukraine and the armed revolt by the Wagner group against Moscow were discussed.

According to a Kremlin readout, the conversation took place at India’s behest. “In connection with the events of June 24 in Russia, Narendra Modi expressed understanding and support for the decisive actions of the Russian leadership to protect law and order, ensure stability in the country and the security of its citizens,” the readout said.

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This was a reference to the mutiny by Wagner Group, the private military company of mercenaries headed by Yevgeny Prigozhin, that had for a day posed the most severe challenge to Putin’s authority since his “military operation” against Ukraine began in February 2022.

Kremlin said, Modi “informed on his international contacts, including ones during his recent visit to Washington” when India-US relations turned a corner with agreements that allow critical technology transfers into India — something the Russians have been doing since the 1960s.

For India, managing the Russia-US dynamic would be a bigger balancing act after Modi’s state visit to the US when Washington rolled out the red carpet and avoided commenting on India’s human rights record in public. The transfer of critical technology has changed the dynamic though it is early days yet.

The two leaders also discussed Ukraine and Putin gave his assessment of the current state of affairs in the “special military operation zone”, underscoring what he sees as Kyiv’s “utter refusal to undertake political and diplomatic steps to resolve the conflict”.

The Prime Minister, according to the Indian readout, reiterated his call for dialogue and diplomacy.

The upcoming summits of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and G20 also came up for discussion as did Brics. Besides, they took stock of the state of the bilateral relationship, stressing the joint projects in various sectors.

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