New Delhi: As the Ukraine conflict continues with no signs of abating, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday spoke on the phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin and reiterated India’s long-standing position in favour of dialogue and diplomacy to end the conflict. The two leaders also discussed the international food and energy situation.
During the phone call, the two leaders reviewed the implementation of the decisions taken during President Putin’s visit to India in December 2021 for the annual bilateral summit.
“In particular, they exchanged ideas on how bilateral trade in agricultural goods, fertilizers and pharma products could be encouraged further,” an official statement said.
“The leaders also discussed global issues, including the state of the international energy and food markets,” the statement said, amid the backdrop of rising international energy and food prices as a fallout of the Ukraine conflict that has crossed four months.
“In the context of the ongoing situation in Ukraine, Prime Minister reiterated India’s long-standing position in favour of dialogue and diplomacy.
“The leaders agreed to maintain regular consultations on global and bilateral issues,” the statement said.
Prime Minister Modi has spoken to President Putin on three earlier occasions after the Ukraine conflict broke out on February 24 this year, and sought Moscow’s help in the evacuation of Indian students from Ukraine, and to urge direct talks between Ukraine and Russia to end the hostilities.
According to a Russian readout of the talks, “As agreed during the BRICS summit on June 23–24, Russian President Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation with Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi on July 1.”
The leaders discussed the bilateral relations, focusing on the further development of mutually beneficial economic ties.
The two noted the “significant increase in the volume of bilateral trade, including mutual deliveries of agricultural products”.
“They expressed mutual intention for the comprehensive strengthening of the special and privileged strategic partnership between Russia and India.”
At the request of Narendra Modi, Vladimir Putin briefed on the key aspects of the Russian special military operation, emphasizing the dangerous and provocative nature of the line of the Kyiv regime and its Western patrons aimed at escalating the crisis and disrupting efforts to resolve it politically and diplomatically, it said.
They also discussed the current state of affairs in the global food market.
“Vladimir Putin drew attention to the systemic mistakes made by a number of states, which led to the disruption of the entire architecture of the free trade of food products and provoked a significant increase of their cost.
“Illegitimate sanctions against Russia have exacerbated an already difficult situation. The same factors had a negative impact on the global energy market. At the same time, the Russian leader stressed that Russia has been and remains a reliable producer and supplier of grain, fertilizers and energy carriers, including to the Indian partners,” it noted
Both leaders agreed to continue personal contacts, as well as interaction at other levels.