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No solution on battlefield: India on Ukraine conflict after US flags concerns

New Delhi: India has consistently maintained that dialogue and diplomacy is the way forward to resolve the Ukraine conflict as a solution can’t be found on the battlefield, official sources said after the US flagged concerns over the situation in the eastern European country ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s summit talks with President Vladimir Putin in Moscow.

India has always called for respecting the UN Charter, including territorial integrity and sovereignty, the sources said.

There is no solution on the battlefield and dialogue and diplomacy is the way forward, they said.

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Ahead of Modi-Putin talks, the US called upon India to make it clear to Russia that any resolution of the Ukraine conflict must respect the United Nations charter and Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.

“India is a strategic partner with whom we engage in a full and frank dialogue. And that includes our concerns about their relationship with Russia,” State Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller said in Washington when asked about PM Modi’s ongoing visit to Moscow.

The American official further added: “We would urge India, as we do any country when it engages with Russia, to make clear that any resolution to the conflict in Ukraine needs to be one that respects the UN charter, that respects Ukraine’s territorial integrity, Ukraine’s sovereignty.”

Miller said the US has made clear to India its concerns about New Delhi’s relationship with Moscow.

“I will look to Prime Minister Modi’s public remarks to see what he talked about. But as I said, we made quite clear directly with India our concerns about their relationship with Russia,” he said.

“So we would hope India and any other country, when they engage with Russia, would make clear that Russia should respect the UN charter, should respect Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Miller added.

Prime Minister Modi on Monday began a two-day high-profile visit to Russia, primarily to hold the 22nd India-Russia summit with President Putin.

It is Modi’s first trip to Russia since the start of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

The Russian president hosted a private dinner for the Indian prime minister at the former’s residence in Novo-Ogarevo on the outskirts of Moscow on Monday night.

The focus of the prime minister’s visit is to advance an economic agenda, especially in areas of energy, trade, manufacturing and fertilisers, official sources said.

The war in Ukraine is also set to figure prominently at the talks.

New Delhi has been stoutly defending its “special and privileged strategic partnership” with Russia and maintained the momentum in the ties notwithstanding the Ukraine conflict.

India has not yet condemned Russia’s attack on Ukraine and consistently pitched for resolution of the conflict through dialogue and diplomacy.

Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Modi has held several telephonic conversations with Putin and Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

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