Moscow, Oct. 28: Russian President Vladimir Putin on October 27, 2022 praised India's foreign policy regarding the crisis in Ukraine and described Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a "great patriot".
Addressing the 19th annual meeting of the Valdai Discussion Club on the theme of "A Post-Hegemonic World: Justice and Security for Everyone", Mr. Putin said that he is considering attending the G20 summit in Bali next month.
"India has come a long way from a British colony to an independent country with which we have special ties. Prime Minister Modi is a great patriot who is able to pursue independent foreign policy," said the Russian President at the discussion forum which was set up in 2004 as a platform for dialogue on international issues.
Mr. Putin informed that to help India deal with the commodities shock that arose out of the Ukrainian conflict, Russia has increased fertiliser supplies by 7.6 times after a request from the Government of India.
Mr Putin's remarks regarding Mr Modi comes a day after the Russian Foreign Ministry announced that External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar will travel to Moscow for a daylong meeting with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on November 8. The meeting will be significant as it will be held just ahead of the G20 summit in Bali on November 15-16.
There has been speculation about the presence of President Putin in the summit in Bali, which is expected to be dominated by the Ukraine issue. The military conflict triggered heated argument during the July 8 G20 Foreign Ministers meeting in Bali that indicated that the western powers were planning to corner Russia over Moscow's military campaign against Ukraine. Presence of President Putin in Bali is therefore a critical issue as the summit will bring together US President Joe Biden, UK's new PM Rishi Sunak, Chinese President Xi Jinping and others and could well provide a first hint of wider diplomatic effort to reduce tension over Ukraine.
A hint of that willingness was dropped by President Putin during his speech at the Valdai Discussion Club where he made a distinction between "aggressive west" and "traditional west" and said that Russia was not looking for a conflict with the West and ruled out the nuclear option for Ukraine. He said ,"The traditional West has a rich culture but the aggressive West is colonial".
"This will be the most important decade since World War II. The rest of the world no longer wants to follow the West," said President Putin.
India and Russia have maintained high level contact since the beginning of the conflict in February 24 and President Putin has been on phone with PM Modi repeatedly during this time, often to ensure safety and security of Indian citizens stuck in Ukraine. India has issued additional advisories earlier this month urging the remaining nationals to leave Ukraine immediately in view of the escalation of conflict and destruction of electricity infrastructure that has made life in Ukraine difficult especially as a harsh winter appears set to hit the region next.
President Putin had paid a brief visit here last December for the annual India-Russia summit. There has been no announcement for the summit this time even as officials maintain a studied response on the matter.-Agencies
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