Russian President Vladimir Putin met Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Uzbekistan on Friday (16th), according to the Kremlin release of the bilateral meeting minutes, Putin told Modi that he understood that India had doubts about the conflict in Ukraine and hoped ” end as soon as possible”.
Reuters reported that Modi told Putin on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Uzbekistan that this was not the time for war, a matter he had made to Putin in a phone call, stressing that democracy, diplomacy and dialogue are needed to keep the world together.
But Putin told Modi that Ukraine had previously refused to negotiate, trying to achieve its goals “on the battlefield”. “I understand your position and your repeated concerns regarding the conflict in Ukraine,” he said.
“We will do everything we can to stop this as soon as possible,” Putin said. “Unfortunately, the other side, the leader of Ukraine, has announced a rejection of the negotiation process and expressed a desire to achieve the goal by military means.”
Russia has held a fifth of Ukraine’s territory since its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine in February. Russia unilaterally declared that in order to avoid Ukraine being used as a platform for Western aggression, it was necessary to launch a “special military operation” and defend the Russian people. Russia has so far refused to describe its actions as invasion or war.
Kyiv and its Western allies refuted Russia’s claim that it was out of nothing, just looking for a pretext to start a war, calling on Russia to retreat unconditionally.
Russia is trying to draw closer ties with China and India in response to its isolation from the West. Both China and India purchased cheap energy from Russia during the war and discussed deepening economic ties with each other.