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Monday, February 26, 2024

Putin Wishes Success in Lok Sabha Polls, Expresses Hope for India-Russia Friendship

Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia, wished “our friends every success” and emphasized that “traditional conventional friendly ties” will continue between New Delhi and Moscow “no matter what the alignment of political forces” is, with reference to the Lok Sabha election that is scheduled for next year.

Putin extended an offer to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to visit Russia at a meeting with External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar.

He also stated that he had discussed the happenings in Ukraine with the Prime Minister. “Many times, I advised him of how things have been going there and I know that he (PM Modi) is willing to do his utmost so that the issue is resolved by peaceful means,” he said, indicating that India will Russia will continue to discuss the issue.

The Russian President said Moscow is “gratified to note that despite all the turmoil happening worldwide, the relationship with our true friend in Asia, India has been progressing incrementally”.

“Definitely, we will be glad to see our dear friend, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, paying a visit to Russia, we will be able to discuss all the relevant, current issues and talk to the prospects of the Russian and Indian relationship,” he said.

The Russian president asked Dr Jaishankar to convey his greetings to the Prime Minister. “And please, tell him that we want to see him,” he said. Putin, however, noted that India will have a “busy political schedule” next year. “The general elections in parliament are scheduled for next year. We wish our friends every success in that and we hope that… anyway, no matter what the alignment of political forces would be, the traditional conventional friendly ties will persist between our nations,” the Russian President said.

India has said that discussion is the only way to find a solution to the Ukraine crisis ever since it erupted. New Delhi has communicated with and met with both Putin and Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky to address the issue. During his meeting with Ukraine’s President earlier this year, Prime Minister Modi stated that India will do all possible to end the issue. During a meeting with Putin in 2021 in Samarkand, the Prime Minister stated that this is “not a war era.”

India has likewise resisted Western efforts to join the anti-Moscow bandwagon. Despite worldwide condemnation, India continued to purchase Russian oil after the West imposed sanctions on Moscow for invading Ukraine. Dr. Jaishankar told NDTV in an interview: the Prime Minister told him to “do whatever is needed for the benefit of the country”.

“We must build relations with the world. But when it comes to what benefits us, we should not back down. I should not expose our people to fuel inflation if I can find a way. The Prime Minister had said, ‘take a stand that benefits India’. We did that,” the minister said.

The External Affairs Minister has questioned how Europe can prioritize its energy requirements while expecting India to act differently.

Every country, he had said, was trying to get the best possible deal for its citizens and to cushion the impact of high energy prices, and India was no different.

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