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Putin, Zelenskyy Invite PM Modi After Elections: “See India As Peacemaker”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy hours after speaking to Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Prime Minister’s conversation with the two leaders comes in the backdrop of Putin’s reelection as President and no sign of a de-escalation in the Russia-Ukraine war. Sources told NDTV that the two leaders said they see India as a peacemaker.

Sources said both Zelenskyy and Putin have invited Prime Minister Modi to visit their countries after the Lok Sabha elections. Prime Minister Modi last visited Russia in 2018.

Phone call with Zelenskyy 

Prime Minister Modi discussed ways to strengthen India-Ukraine partnership and reiterated the nation’s people-centric approach and calls for dialogue and diplomacy for the resolution of the ongoing conflict. 

The Prime Minister said India would continue to do everything within its means to support a peaceful solution. Meanwhile, President Zelenskyy appreciated India’s continued humanitarian assistance to the people of Ukraine. The two leaders agreed to remain in touch.

In May last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi met the Ukrainian President on the sidelines of the G7 summit in Japan’s Hiroshima. This was the first in-person meeting between the two leaders since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February last year.

Phone call with Putin

Earlier today,  Prime Minister Narendra Modi dialled Russian President Vladimir Putin, congratulating him again on his re-election to the top office. During their telephonic conversation, both leaders agreed to intensify efforts towards expanding the India-Russia ‘Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership’.

“Spoke with President Putin and congratulated him on his re-election as the President of the Russian Federation. We agreed to work together to further deepen and expand the India-Russia Special & Privileged Strategic Partnership in the years ahead,” PM Modi said.

India has stressed diplomacy and discussion to resolve the conflict which began in February 2022 with Russia’s full-scale invasion. The Ministry of External Affairs in a press briefing said, “India desires that there be discussion, there be diplomacy, there be constant engagements so that both sides can come together and find peace.”

Putin’s Re-election and war continues

Vladimir Putin won the Presidential elections, securing 87.17 per cent votes. The Communist Party of Russian Federation candidate Nikolai Kharitonov secured the second spot with 4.1 per cent of the votes while New People Party candidate Vladislav Davankov stood third with 4.8 per cent votes.

Putin has served four terms as Russian President. He was first elected President in 2000 and again in 2004, 2012, and 2018. He has effectively remained unchallenged in the polls and has strengthened his control over the Kremlin with another six-year term. The West has described the election as “incredibly undemocratic”.

Ukraine has urged the US Congress to unblock a $60 billion aid package, which has been stalled due to political infighting. The delays have been a “shock” for Ukrainian officials, Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said in an online briefing for foreign media. 

US Defence Secretary Lloys J Austin said, “Since the invasion, Russia has wasted up to USD 211 billion to equip, deploy, maintain and sustain its needless war on its neighbour,” Austin said. “Putin’s war of choice will cost Russia USD 1.3 trillion in previously anticipated economic growth through 2026.”

“If Putin is successful in Ukraine, he will not stop there,” Austin said. “Our allies and partners are here because they understand the stakes.”

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(Source: NDTV)

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