Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday, Sept 16 told Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the SCO summit here that he knows about India’s position on the Ukraine conflict and “we want all of this to end as soon as possible”.
“I know about your position on Ukraine conflict. I know about your concerns. We want all of this to end as soon as possible,” Putin said.
“But the other party, the leadership of Ukraine has claimed… that they refuse to engage in the negotiation process. They said they want to achieve their objectives, as they say, on the battlefield militarily. We will keep you abreast of everything that is happening over there,” he added.
Putin said that relations between Russia and India are in the nature of a privileged strategic partnership and they continue to develop very rapidly.
“We are actively engaging at international platforms. We are in discussion on international issues. Sometimes these issues are something that is not very good news…,” he said.
In his remarks, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said “today’s era is not of war”.
“Today’s era is not of war and I have spoken to you about it on the call. Today we will get the opportunity to talk about how we can progress on the path of peace. India, Russia have stayed together with each other for several decades,” PM Modi said.
“We spoke several times on the phone about India-Russia bilateral relations and various issues. We should find ways to address the problems of food, fuel security and fertilizers. I want to thank Russia and Ukraine for helping us to evacuate our students from Ukraine,” he added.
Russia had launched a special military operation in Ukraine in February this year.
Uzbekistan is the current chair of SCO 2022 whereas India will be the next chair of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.
Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping have congratulated India for the SCO Presidency in 2023 during the meeting of the expanded circle of the Heads of SCO.
This is the first in-person SCO Summit after the Covid pandemic hit the world. The last in-person SCO Heads of State Summit was held in Bishkek in June 2019.
The SCO currently comprises eight Member States (China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan), four Observer States interested in acceding to full membership (Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran, and Mongolia) and six “Dialogue Partners” (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Turkey).
The Shanghai Five, formed in 1996, became the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in 2001 with the inclusion of Uzbekistan. With India and Pakistan entering the grouping in 2017 and the decision to admit Tehran as a full member in 2021, SCO became one of the largest multilateral organizations, accounting for nearly 30 percent of the global GDP and 40 percent of the world’s population.