Russian President Putin thanks PM Modi for trying to help resolve Ukraine crisis

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Moscow, Jul 9 (PTI) Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for trying to help find a peaceful solution to the Ukraine crisis.

"I am grateful to you for the attention you pay to the most pressing issues, particularly trying to find ways to resolve the Ukraine crisis, primarily through peaceful means,” Putin was quoted as saying by the official TASS news agency.

Putin made the statement during his talks with Modi here at the Kremlin, it said.

In his televised opening remarks, Modi conveyed to Putin and assured the world community that India was on the side of peace and was ready to contribute to ending the conflict in Ukraine.

"For a bright future for the new generation, peace is most essential...Peace talks do not succeed amidst bombs, guns and bullets," he asserted.

The prime minister also referred to his informal meeting with Putin on Monday and said listening to the Russian president lent "hope".

"Everyone believing in humanity is pained if there is loss of lives. In that too, if innocent children are murdered; if innocent children die, it is heart-wrenching and very painful," Modi said.

Putin noted that Russia and India worked closely on the international stage.

"We closely cooperate on the international stage, namely within international organisations,” Putin was quoted as saying by the state-run TASS news agency.

He specified that cooperation was underway “primarily within the UN and groups such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and BRICS.” “Yesterday, we had the opportunity to communicate in an informal atmosphere and talk about almost all the issues,” Putin said.

On Monday, the two leaders spent several hours together at Putin’s Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow.

Meanwhile, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Tuesday said he doubts that NATO countries will consider the peace initiatives of Prime Minister Modi.

"A NATO summit is taking place these days. All the rhetoric that preceded it indicates that it is unlikely they will hear them, but we will continue to monitor what approaches will dominate there,” he told the Telegram channel called Shot.

But Peskov also said that “more and more statesmen are really talking about dialogue.” "One can disagree about some things. One can disagree about many things. But if there is a dialogue, there is an opportunity to find solutions,” Peskov said.

Putin also said that he believes that Moscow and New Delhi maintain a privileged strategic partnership.

“Our countries have enjoyed decades of good friendship,” he said. “Today, our relations have the nature of a privileged strategic partnership,” he added.

The Russian leader expressed satisfaction with growing trade between the two countries which he said saw a 66 per cent increase last year “and rose by another 20 per cent in the first quarter of this year.” Putin once again congratulated Modi on his re-election as Indian prime minister. He also noted that Modi had arrived in Russia for his first official foreign visit after he was sworn in for another term at the helm of the government following the Indian general election last month.

Putin also invited Modi to the BRICS summit set to take place in the Russian city of Kazan in October. “We will be pleased to see you at the BRICS summit in Kazan this fall,” the Russian leader said, addressing Modi.

Russia holds the BRICS presidency this year. BRICS is an intergovernmental organisation comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Saudi Arabia, Iran, Ethiopia, Egypt, Argentina and the United Arab Emirates have joined BRICS as its new members. PTI AKJ ZH ZH

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