New Delhi: The Russia-Ukraine conflict has triggered major diplomatic debates across the globe on whether one had to be seen with the West on the one hand or Russia on the other.
India has been the only country taking tough calls and balancing roles.
The Modi government has condemned the reported killings by Russia of civilians in Ukraine’s Bucha, but it has not joined in the sanctions imposed on Moscow by the West.
On Friday, Modi spoke to Russian President Vladimir Putin over the phone and “discussed global issues, including the state of the international energy and food markets”.
The MEA said in a statement, “In the context of the ongoing situation in Ukraine, the Prime Minister reiterated India’s long-standing position in favour of dialogue and diplomacy. The two leaders agreed to maintain regular consultations on global and bilateral issues”.
Both Putin and Modi reviewed the implementation of the decisions taken during President Putin’s visit to India in December 2021. “In particular, they exchanged ideas on how bilateral trade in agricultural goods, fertilizers and pharma products could be encouraged further,” the MEA said.
Notably, PM Modi latey attended the G-7 meet in Germany and held talks with key western leaders including President Joe Biden and leaders of Germany and France.
In the last four months, India has always stuck to its position that New Delhi has called for ‘cessation’ of hostilities and advocated Diplomacy and Dialogue to resolve the vexed Russia-UKraine conflict.
New Delhi has not condemned Moscow’s invasion and stayed away from voting at the UN on multiple occasions.
It is quite a tightrope walk being maintained by India and its key foreign policy players – PM Modi, External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar and NSA Ajit Doval.
India wants an uninterrupted supply of defence equipment from Russia, and it’s true that about 60 to 70 per cent of India’s defence supplies come from Russia.
India-China relations may not be at its best but RIC and BRICS are two other realities which seek to ensure good cooperation between China, Russia and India.
Modi has participated virtually in the recent BRICS summit, which was attended by Putin and chaired and hosted by Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his part also in tele talks with Russian President Putin and Ukrainian leader Vlodomyr Zelensky have stated that ‘dialogue and diplomacy’ are the only ways to end the impasse.
Russia has also emerged as a key oil supplier to India lately.