The recent talk between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sideline of the SCO summit has got the attention of the west, especially its media which has termed the meeting between the two leaders as ‘India Chiding Russia’. However, the meeting between the two leaders was to address each other’s concerns regarding the geopolitical situation of the world.
“I know that today’s era is not of war,” said Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he met Russian president Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the recently concluded Shanghai Cooperation Organisation(SCO) summit.
Owing to the ongoing conflict in Eastern Europe ,the world is facing challenges like the food and energy crisis. The smaller developing countries are the worst to be hit by the ongoing war in Ukraine as their economies start to crumble.
The PM in his talk with the Russian head of state said that “Today we will get a chance to discuss how we can move forward on the path of peace”. It is for the first time that the Russian President has actually vowed to end hostilities in Ukraine while interacting with another world leader.
Putin said that Russia understands the concerns of India and wants to end the war as soon as possible. He criticised Ukraine leadership for refusing to engage in the negotiation process and are adamant to solve the issue militarily and on the battlefield.
What is the western media saying
PM Modi’s conversation was widely covered by US media who also praised Narendra Modi for raising the issue in a direct face to face talk with Mr. Putin.
The western media is claiming that both China and India have distanced themselves away from Russia and that Putin is now isolated by two of its most trusted allies, who were important for Russia to fund the war.
The West has been critical of India’s stand in the ongoing war in Ukraine particularly after India’s decision to buy discounted Russian oil.
What is India’s stand on the crisis in Ukraine
The message from the Prime Minister was that, as a friend, his advice and recommendation to Putin was that all the disputes and hostilities should be resolved only through dialogue and diplomacy.
India has always urged that peace can only be through dialogue and both Russia and Ukraine should cede hostilities and should address each other’s security concerns. India has also put aside the calls from the west to condemn Russia despite having greater security ties with the United States.
The western media has labelled the discussion of PM Modi and president Putin as “India chiding Russia”, which is distorted. The fact that the Prime Minister raised these issues is because the Ukraine crisis has affected the supply chain of the world and has created problems especially for the countries which are still developing.
Russia is India’s most trusted ally from the past several decades. Both PM Modi and President Putin share a personal touch. The two leaders have always addressed each other’s security concerns in the past.
PM Modi thanked Russia for helping India to safely evacuate Indian students when hostilities broke out in Ukraine. These students got trapped in Ukraine amid the war. It is believed that Russian authorities coordinated with Indian officials in the safe evacuation of students after the Russian offences were intensifying, especially in the city of Kharkiv.
The ongoing Russia-Ukraine war is having universal affect. The world is witnessing energy and food shortages. The inflation rate is soaring up and is putting pressure on the economy of smaller countries, who may not be able to hold it. Hence, India’s recommendation to Russia to end hostilities in Ukraine is not to intimidate Russia but to stabilise the world.