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PM Modi Silences Critics by Mentioning ‘Deaths of Children’ in Russia-Ukraine War in Meeting With Putin


PM Modi held bilateral talks with Russian President Putin. (ANI)

PM Modi held bilateral talks with Russian President Putin. (ANI)

The India-Russia joint statement released by Ministry Of External Affairs highlighted peaceful resolution through dialogue and diplomacy including engagement between Russia and Ukraine.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has silenced his critics by mentioning about the ‘deaths of children in war’, sitting next to Russian President Vladimir Putin. As PM Narendra Modi and President Putin met during a dinner on Monday, both leaders spoke about the Russia-Ukraine war along with other issues. At the restricted talks on Tuesday, PM Modi said, “Be it war, conflicts, terror attacks – everyone who believes in humanity is pained when there is loss of lives. But when innocent children are murdered, when we see innocent children dying, it is heart-wrenching. That pain is immense. I also held a detailed discussion with you over this.”

PM Narendra Modi’s statement is even bolder and clearer than the one which he made in Samarkand in 2023, when he told Putin that this was ‘not an era of war’.

Many western opinion makers and think tanks were expecting two things – one, given the ongoing war, PM Modi will keep his conduct with Putin very subtle which means no warm hugs, tight handshakes and laughter but PM Modi continued with his style of greeting when he met President Putin, which disappointed many in the western world and made them say India will always keep its national interest first.

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy criticised PM Modi’s visit to Russia and him hugging Putin and said, “It is a huge disappointment and a devastating blow to peace efforts to see the leader of the world’s largest democracy hug the world’s most bloody criminal in Moscow on such a day.”

Second, many were expecting India will only do little for the sake of western world by discussing the Ukraine issue with President Putin. But PM Modi not just mentioned the “deaths of children” in his remarks, but the Ukraine issue was also mentioned in the joint statement issued by both countries.

US State Department spokesperson Mathew Miller had said, “We would urge India, as we do to any country which engages with Russia, to make any resolution to the conflict in Ukraine, and it needs to be one that respects the UN Charter with respect to territorial integrity and Ukraine’s sovereignty.”

The joint statement released by Ministry Of External Affairs highlighted peaceful resolution through dialogue and diplomacy including engagement between both parties. It also mentioned that both sides noted relevant proposals of mediation aimed at peaceful resolution in accordance with International law and on the basis of the UN Charter.

Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra, in a press briefing said, “In terms of the death of innocents, yesterday, the PM was very clear and categorical in expressing his concern and regret for the loss of innocent lives including children.”

Kwatra also said India is willing to offer all possible support contributions and cooperation that is required to this particular challenge and find solution.

PM Modi’s first bilateral visit to Russia took everyone by surprise as the visit was on the cards but the fact that it came so soon has surprised. Since India-Russia relations are multifaceted, there are many areas of cooperation, but along with national interest, Narendra Modi also gave priority to issues like the Ukraine conflict which not only matters to the west but also to countries from the global south

PM Modi not only highlighted the death of children but also raised concerns of the countries from Global South and is ready to assist to find a peaceful solution. The Prime Minister’s visit was planned in such a way that it should not look like India was only listening one perspective. The Prime Minister, in his second leg of the visit, is in Austria and will discuss conflict with his Austrian counterpart and hear their perspective.

Austria is a neutral nation in EU, not a member of NATO but has a strong opinion on ongoing conflict. Austria, which only has a billion dollar trade with India and not many areas of cooperation, is being visited by PM Modi to hear the perspective of a neutral, non-NATO country in EU, which proves that India is not inclined towards one side. PM Modi’s Air India One was a rare direct flight from Moscow to Vienna is in itself a sign that India hears all sides and is ready to assist to find a solution.

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