When the world plunges into ‘war’, PM Modi says dialogue only way to resolve the Russia-NATO conflict

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PM Modi called for concerted efforts from all sides to return to the path of diplomatic negotiations and dialogue and said the differences between Russia and the NATO group can only be resolved through honest and sincere dialogue.

New Delhi: At the time of the diplomatic crisis at the world stage, as the leader of the world’s largest democracy, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi rightly underlined the need for ‘cessation’ of violence in his tele talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“Mr Modi reiterated his long-standing conviction that the differences between Russia and the NATO group can only be resolved through honest and sincere dialogue,” a PMO statement said. The statement said, “President Putin briefed Prime Minister Narendra Modi about the recent developments regarding Ukraine.”

Earlier on Thursday (February 24) morning, the Russian President precipitated a global challenge by ordering military strikes on Ukraine, much to the chagrin of the western forces and nations led by the United States.

The Prime Minister appealed for an immediate cessation of violence and called for concerted efforts from all sides to return to the path of diplomatic negotiations and dialogue, the PMO statement said.

PM Modi also “sensitised the Russian President about India’s concerns” regarding the safety of the Indian citizens in Ukraine, especially students, and conveyed that India attaches the highest priority to their safe exit and return to India.

“The leaders agreed that their officials and diplomatic teams would continue to maintain regular contacts on issues of topical interest,” the PMO said.

Foreign Secretary Harsh V Shringla briefed reporters and said the Indian Embassy in Ukraine continues to be functional. “A number of advisories have been issued by embassies on the situation as it evolves. We’re consulting universities, student contractors in the process of providing welfare and safety of our students,” Shringla said.

“Some sanctions have been imposed on Russia by the UK, US, Australia, Japan among others. We have to see what impacts these sanctions will have on our interests. Any sanctions will have an impact on our relationship, I think it would be correct to acknowledge that,” he said.

The Foreign Secretary maintained that India’s focus in the UNSC has always been on de-escalation of tensions, diplomatic dialogue and emphasised the existing agreements like the Minsk agreements, the Normandy format.

He said the government of India and the MEA would handle the evacuation with utmost precaution. “Roadways have been mapped out to evacuate Indian nationals from Kyiv and reach safer places,” the Foreign Secretary said.

To many experts and analysts, the Ukraine crisis raises important questions about power and principles that could impact the security scenario and highlights the dependence of Asia’s security on stability in Europe.

India had abstained from voting on Ukraine at the United Nations Security Council on January 31. But as a regional player, India has a much greater interest in the faraway European crisis than appearances suggest, says an analyst in ‘Foreign Policy’.

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