The United States on Friday welcomed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s stance on the Ukraine conflict as he once again called for the cessation of violence in the pursuit of diplomacy.
“We would take PM Modi at his words and welcome those comments when they took place. Other countries will make their own decision on engagement with Russia. We continue to coordinate with allies to mitigate impacts of war,” said State Department’s Principal Deputy Spokesperson Vedant Patel during a press conference, as quoted by news agency ANI.
When asked about India’s role in stopping the armed conflict, the State Department spokesperson said, “Any country that’s interested in engaging in peace and interested in ending this (Russia-Ukraine) war must do so in close partnership with Ukrainian partners.”
Patel made these remarks in response to a question on India’s position on the Russia-Ukraine conflict and PM Modi’s call to end the war.
In September, PM Modi spoke to Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the SCO summit in Samarkand and told him that “today’s era isn’t of war”. He had emphasised the need to find ways to address the problems of food, fuel security, and fertilizers.
Notably, the US State Department’s comments came hours after PM Modi had a telephone conversation with Vladimir Putin on Friday.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi reiterated his call for dialogue and diplomacy as “the only way” forward to resolve the Ukraine crisis.
The two leaders also reviewed bilateral cooperation in areas of energy, trade and defence during the conversation.
According to news agency PTI, a Russian readout stated that Putin gave “fundamental assessments of Russia’s line on the Ukrainian direction at the request of Modi”.
The Prime Minister’s office (PMO) stated that PM Modi briefed the Russian President on India’s ongoing Presidency of the G-20, highlighting its key priorities.
It was the fifth telephonic talk between the two leaders this year. They held phone conversations on February 24, March 2, March 7 and July 1.
“Following up on their meeting in Samarkand on the sidelines of the SCO Summit, the two leaders reviewed several aspects of the bilateral relationship, including energy cooperation, trade and investments, defence and security cooperation, and other key areas,” the PMO stated.
“In the context of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, the Prime Minister reiterated his call for dialogue and diplomacy as the only way forward,” it mentioned.
The phone conversation came days after it was made clear that PM Modi will not be travelling to Russia for the annual India-Russia summit this year.
Putin visited India last year for the summit.
So far, New Delhi has not directly criticised Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine but has been pressing for resolving the conflict through dialogue.