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On Ukraine, US Acknowledges India’s Role As Peacemaker; Putin Lauds PM Modi’s Push To End War – News18

On Ukraine, US Acknowledges India’s Role As Peacemaker; Putin Lauds PM Modi’s Push To End War – News18

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Washington D.C., United States of America (USA)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Russian President Vladimir Putin. (X/@narendramodi)

US expresses concerns over India’s ties with Russia as PM Modi concludes his Moscow visit, emphasising India’s role in urging peace in Ukraine

The White House on Wednesday said that India’s strong ties with Russia give it the leverage to persuade President Vladimir Putin to end the ongoing war in Ukraine. These remarks came following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s two-day visit to Moscow where the leaders demonstrated their close relationship.

While in Russia, PM Modi stated that India is committed to peace and ready to cooperate in all possible ways to resolve the long and deadly conflict. In his televised opening remarks, he assured the world community that India was on the side of peace and was ready to contribute to ending the conflict in Ukraine.

“For a bright future for the new generation, peace is most essential…Peace talks do not succeed amidst bombs, guns and bullets,” he asserted. Putin meanwhile thanked PM Modi for trying to help find a peaceful solution to the Ukraine issue. “I am grateful to you for the attention you pay to the most pressing issues, particularly trying to find ways to resolve the Ukraine crisis, primarily through peaceful means,” the Russian president said during their meeting at the Kremlin.

What the US said

India has not yet condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. However, it has consistently pitched for a resolution of the conflict through dialogue and diplomacy. During a press briefing on Tuesday, White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre was asked about Modi’s Russia visit.  In response to a question on Ukraine, she said, “India is a strategic partner with whom we engage in full and frank dialogue, including their relationship with Russia, and we’ve talked about this before. So we think it’s critical that all countries, including India, support efforts to realise an enduring and just peace when it comes to Ukraine.”

“We also believe India’s long-standing relationship with Russia gives it the ability to urge President Putin to end his brutal war, an unprovoked war in Ukraine. It is for President Putin to end. President Putin started the war, and he can end the war,” Jean-Pierre said. As Modi concluded his historic trip to Moscow, the Biden administration said Washington has been quite clear about its concerns regarding India’s relationship with Russia.

US Concerns

“We have been quite clear about our concerns about India’s relationship with Russia. We have expressed those privately directly to the Indian government, and continue to do so. And that has not changed,” US State Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller told reporters at his daily news conference soon after Modi left Russia. “We urge India, we continue to urge India to support efforts to realise an enduring and just peace in Ukraine, based on the principles of the UN charter based on upholding Ukraine’s territorial integrity and its sovereignty. And that will continue to be what we will engage with India about,” Miller said.

Separately, the Pentagon said on Tuesday the United States will continue to view India as a strategic partner and have robust dialogue with the country. “India and Russia have had a relationship for a very long time. From a US perspective, India is a strategic partner with whom we continue to engage in with full and frank dialogue to include their relationship with Russia. As it relates to the NATO summit being this week, of course, like you, the world is focused on that,” Pentagon Press Secretary Major General Pat Ryder told reporters at a news conference.

Modi’s Russia visit

“But I do not think anybody will be surprised if (Russian) President (Vladimir) Putin tries to represent this visit in a way that seeks to somehow show that he is not isolated from the rest of the world. And the fact of the matter is, President Putin’s war of choice has isolated Russia from the rest of the world and it has come at great cost,” he said responding to questions on Modi’s Russia visit.

“Their war of aggression has come at great cost and the facts bear that out. So we will continue to view India as a strategic partner. We will continue to have robust dialogue with them,” Ryder said. “He (Putin) is not looking so isolated with the head of the world’s largest democracy being in Moscow, embracing him right now,” a reporter said.

“I would also note that the prime minister also met recently with the Ukrainian president and offered his assurances that India will continue to do everything within its means to support a peaceful solution to the war in Ukraine,” Ryder said. “I think that we trust that India will support efforts to realise an enduring and just peace for Ukraine and will convey to Mr Putin the importance of adhering to the UN charter and the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity,” he added.

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