Home Indian Defense Russia-Ukraine War: India Ready To Contribute In Any Way To Peace Efforts, PM Modi Tells Lavrov

Russia-Ukraine War: India Ready To Contribute In Any Way To Peace Efforts, PM Modi Tells Lavrov

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Modi has also held phone conversations with Putin on February 24, March 2 and March 7. The PM has also twice spoken to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy

Amid mounting international pressure on India to act as mediator in the Russia-Ukraine war, Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday during his official visit to India. Prime Minister Modi said India was ready to contribute in any way to peace efforts between the two countries at war, after Lavrov briefed him about the ongoing diplomatic negotiations with Ukraine, the prime minister’s office said.

According to a press release issued by the PMO, Lavrov called on PM Modi and briefed him on the situation in Ukraine. “The Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation, His Excellency Sergei Lavrov, called on Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi today. Foreign Minister Lavrov briefed the Prime Minister on the situation in Ukraine, including the ongoing peace negotiations,” the press release stated.

The PMO further said PM Modi reiterated his views on an early cessation of violence and said India was ready to contribute in peace efforts. “Prime Minister reiterated his call for an early cessation of violence, and conveyed India’s readiness to contribute in any way to the peace efforts,” the press release added.

Lavrov earlier met external affairs minister S Jaishankar following which he said India could mediate between Moscow and Kyiv, as the conflict talks had failed with regard to coming up with solutions to ending the war. He had said, “India is an important country. If India sees to play that role which provides resolution of the problem… If India is with its position of a just and rational approach to international problems, it can support such process.”

Lavrov arrived in Delhi on Thursday for a two-day official visit. At his meeting with PM Modi, Lavrov also updated him on the progress of decisions taken during the India-Russia bilateral summit held in December 2021.

During his trip, Lavrov praised India’s independent foreign policy. He discussed issues such as US pressure on India, surging energy prices and sanctions on Russia. He also addressed a press conference following his meeting with Jaishankar, where he also said pressure the United States was putting on India to take sides in the war will not in any way affect Moscow’s ties with Delhi.

Here are the highlights of the wide-ranging talks between Lavrov and Jaishankar, which were focused around the Russia-Ukraine conflict and its implications on bilateral ties:

India as mediator in Russia-Ukraine war: Lavrov said India could act as a mediator between Russia and Ukraine as conflict talks between the two countries had not yielded any constructive results yet. “India is an important country. If India sees to play that role which provides resolution of the problem… If India is with its position of a just and rational approach to international problems, it can support such process.”

Praise for India’s foreign policy: Praising India’s foreign policy, Lavrov also said, “I believe that Indian foreign policies are characterised by independence and the concentration on real national legitimate interests. The same policy is based in the Russian Federation and this makes us, as big countries, good friends and loyal partners.”

US pressure on India: Asked if US pressure on India will affect ties between Moscow and Delhi, Lavrov said while there was no doubt such pressure affected partnerships, he was sure that it was not the case in this regard. “I have no doubt no pressure will affect our partnership… They (US) are forcing others to follow their politics.”

“Special operation”, not war: Lavrov: Lavrov slammed those calling Russia’s “special operation” in Ukraine a war. “You called it a war which is not true. It is a special operation, military infrastructure is being targeted. The aim is to deprive the Kyiv regime of building the capacity to present any threat to Russia.”

Russia’s hints on intensifying trade with India: Lavrov said Russia had begun moving towards conducting trade in national currencies with India and its other partners to bypass western sanctions in wake of the Ukraine war. Asked about the rouble-rupee payment system, Lavrov said such an arrangement for trade with countries like India and China began years ago and efforts to bypass western payment systems will now be intensified. “I would recall that many years ago we started moving in our relations with India, China (and) many other countries from using dollar and euros to more and more use of national currencies. Under the current circumstances, this trend I believe will be intensified, which is natural and obvious,” he said, adding, “we don’t want to depend on a system which would be closed anytime and we don’t want to depend on a system whose masters can steal your money overnight.”

Momentum of bilateral strategic ties to continue: Lavrov said Russia was committed to maintaining the flow of trade with India. He also stressed on the “very good relations” between India and Russia to ensure that bilateral trade continued despite western sanctions. “We have very good relations between the trade ministries, the ministries of finance, and I have no doubt that a way would be found out to bypass the artificial impediments which illegal and unilateral sanctions by the West create,” he said, adding, “this relates also to the area of military-technical cooperation. We have no doubt that the solution will be found and respective ministries are working on it.” On India’s willingness to procure larger volumes of crude oil from Russia, Lavrov said, “We will be ready to supply to India any goods which India wants to buy.”

Unlike many other leading powers, India has not yet criticised Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and has abstained from votes at platforms of the United Nations in condemning President Vladimir Putin’s actions. India has pressed for resolution through diplomacy and dialogue since the beginning of the invasion on February 24. But, on March 24, India abstained on a resolution pushed by Russia on the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine. This was seen as reflective of the country’s neutral position. Last week, in parliament, Jaishankar said India’s position had been “steadfast and consistent”, and that it had sought immediate cessation of violence.

Modi has also held phone conversations with Putin on February 24, March 2 and March 7. The PM has also twice spoken to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.





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