India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi told Russian President Vladimir Putin that now was not the time for war, with nations worldwide facing food and fuel security threats amid the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war and the coronavirus pandemic.
Modi made the remarks to Putin on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Uzbekistan on Friday, according to a statement issued by the Kremlin.
“I know that this is not the era of wars. We have repeatedly spoken about this in our phone conversations. Democracy, diplomacy, and dialogue—these are important for us to find solutions,” Modi said.
Had a wonderful meeting with President Putin. We got the opportunity to discuss furthering India-Russia cooperation in sectors such as trade, energy, defence and more. We also discussed other bilateral and global issues. pic.twitter.com/iHW5jkKOW0
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) September 16, 2022
Modi said that food and energy security, as well as the availability of fertilizers, have become major concerns for India.
“Without a doubt, we need to find a solution to all these issues, and we both need to take initiatives in this direction. These issues have already been discussed today,” he added.
Putin acknowledged Modi’s concerns about the Ukraine war but said that Russia was doing all necessary to end the war “as soon as possible.” He said that Ukraine abandoned the negotiation process.
“The opposing side, the leadership of Ukraine, announced its abandonment of the negotiation process, declared that it wants to achieve its goals by military means, as they say, ‘on the battlefield,'” Putin said.
Ukraine has said that it will fight until it drives all Russian troops from its land. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said he will never accept a “peace” that allows Russia to keep Ukrainian land.
The war in Ukraine, which began on Feb. 24 when Putin ordered troops to invade, has killed tens of thousands of soldiers, sparked the worst confrontation with the West since the Cold War, and sent the world economy into an inflationary spiral.
India had called for a cessation of hostilities and an end to violence in Ukraine but refrained from condemning Russia for the invasion as it seeks to balance diplomatic ties with Russia and the West.
Putin stated during the meeting that the volume of trade between Russia and India has been increasing, with Russia’s shipment of fertilizers to India increasing by more than eight times this year.
Russia has become India’s second-biggest supplier of crude oil. Washington said in April that India has purchased at least 13 million barrels of discounted Russian crude oil since the Ukraine war, which accounted for 1 to 2 percent of India’s total energy imports.
Reuters contributed to this report.