Modi Meets Putin Amid Tensions in Ukraine

Modi Meets Putin Amid Tensions in Ukraine
Modi Meets Putin Amid Tensions in Ukraine

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is being keenly watched by his Western allies as he meets Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on his first foreign trip since he returned to office for a third term in June.

Modi's two-day visit - his first to the Kremlin since 2019 - coincides with a Nato summit in Washington, where the 2022 invasion will be a major theme.

 Russian President Vladimir Putin told visiting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi that their countries enjoyed a special strategic partnership and thanked him for his efforts to find a peaceful solution to the war in Ukraine.

Putin hosted Modi in the Kremlin for talks expected to include Russia energy supplies to India and economic and strategic ties.

"I am grateful to you for the attention you pay to the most pressing problems, including trying to find some ways to resolve the Ukrainian crisis - of course, first of all, peacefully," Putin added.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi told Vladimir Putin that the death of innocent children in war, conflict or a terrorist attack "is very painful," a day after Ukraine said Kiev's main children's hospital was hit by a deadly Russian missile strike.

Modi also told Putin that a solution to the war in Ukraine "cannot be found on the battlefield ... we have to find peace through talks."

Modi told President Putin that India was ready to offer any assistance in establishing peace in Ukraine. Russian state TV quoted him saying that war was "not a solution".

"But even in that, when innocent children are killed, the heart bleeds and that pain is very terrifying."

India and Russia share close defense and strategic relations from Cold War days and Moscow remains a key supplier of weapons. India, which maintains one of the largest militaries in the world, has long-standing border disputes with its neighbors Pakistan and China.