Modi's Moscow Hug

| | New Delhi/Moscow
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Modi's Moscow Hug

Wednesday, 10 July 2024 | Pioneer News Service/Agencies | New Delhi/Moscow

Modi's Moscow Hug

India and Russia on Tuesday reviewed the entire spectrum of their bilateral ties and ongoing Ukraine conflict with Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying peace dialogue does not succeed amidst guns and bullets.  He also said no solution is possible in the battlefield.  Modi said stronger ties between India and Russia will greatly benefit the people.

He was officially conferred Russia’s most prestigious civilian honour — the Order of St Andrew the Apostle — by President Putin for exceptional services in promoting bilateral ties between the two countries.

On his bilateral talks with Putin, Modi in his opening remarks said he conveyed to Russia President and assured the world community that India is on the side of peace and was ready to contribute in 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 said.

The Prime Minister also referred to his informal meeting with Putin on Monday and said listening to the Russian president lent “hope”. While Modi did not explicitly mention Monday’s Russian missile attack on a children’s hospital in Ukraine, he said it was “heart-wrenching” to see innocent children dying.

“Be it war, conflicts, terror attacks — everyone who believes in humanity is pained when there is loss of lives. But when innocent children are murdered, when we see innocent children dying, it is heart-wrenching. That pain is immense,”  Modi said.

“At our meeting yesterday, we listened to each other’s views on Ukraine and I also placed before you the Global South’s expectation on peace and stability,” Modi said.

The Prime Minister also highlighted Russia’s help to India in the energy sector.      When the world was facing shortage of food, fuel and fertilisers, we did not allow our farmers to face any problem and our friendship with Russia played a role in that, Modi said. “We would want our cooperation with Russia to expand further so as to ensure welfare of our farmers,” he said. The Prime Minister also flagged concerns over challenges of terrorism. “India has been facing the challenge of terrorism for around 40 years; I condemn all forms of terrorism,” Modi said.

He said the world has to face multiple challenges in the last five years — first due Covid-19 and then because of various conflicts.

Modi called terrorism ‘horrible,’ and condemned Moscow terror attack adding Moscow and Dagestan too have been a victim of terrorist attacks. “India has suffered from terrorism. We know how horrible it is. Recently there were terrorist attacks in Mosocw and Dagestan... We condemn terrorist attacks,” Putin said during his bilateral meeting with Modi.

Last week, terrorist attacks in Derbent and Makhachkala, two of the largest cities in Russia’s Dagestan, killed 21 people and left 46 injured.

Modi also said talks with Putin covered ways to diversify India-Russia cooperation in trade, commerce, security, agriculture, technology and innovation.  “We attach great importance to boosting connectivity and people-to-people exchanges” he added.

Putin thanked Modi for trying to help find a peaceful solution to the Ukraine crisis. “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,” Putin was quoted as saying by the official TASS news agency. Putin made the statement during his talks with Modi here at the Kremlin, it said.

Putin noted that Russia and India worked closely on the international stage. “We closely cooperate on the international stage, namely within international organisations,” Putin was quoted as saying by the state-run TASS news agency.

He specified that cooperation was underway “primarily within the UN and groups such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and BRICS.”

“Yesterday, we had the opportunity to communicate in an informal atmosphere and talk about almost all the issues,” Putin said.

He also said he believes that Moscow and New Delhi maintain a privileged strategic partnership. “Our countries have enjoyed decades of good friendship,” he said. “Today, our relations have the nature of a privileged strategic partnership,” he added.

The Russian leader expressed satisfaction with growing trade between the two countries which he said saw a 66 per cent increase last year “and rose by another 20 per cent in the first quarter of this year.”

Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Modi paid tributes at the ‘Tomb of the Unknown Soldier’ in Moscow. He also laid a wreath at the Tomb.

The ‘Tomb of the Unknown Soldier’ is a war memorial located at the Kremlin wall, Moscow. It is dedicated to the Soviet soldiers who lost their lives during World War II.

As regards the award, Modi was conferred the ‘Order of St Andrew the Apostle’ award by Russian President Vladimir Putin for exceptional services in promoting bilateral ties between the two countries.

“Honoured to receive the Order of St. Andrew the Apostle. I dedicate it to the people of India,” Modi said in a social media post after receiving the award at a ceremony here.

Established in 1698 by Tsar Peter the Great in honour of Saint Andrew, the first apostle of Jesus and patron saint of Russia, the Order of St Andrew the Apostle is the highest state decoration of Russia.

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