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Tuesday, February 7, 2023

India’s PM Modi in contact with Russia and Ukraine leaders: FM Jaishankar

Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Monday stressed that differences need to be settled through dialogues. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been in touch with the leaders of Russia and Ukraine and urged them to return to dialogue and diplomacy as protracted conflict will not allow. serve the interests of either party. Jaishankar, who arrived here from Cyprus on the second leg of his two-nation tour, said this at a joint press statement after productive talks with his Austrian counterpart Alexander Schallenberg here.

Highlighting that India is always on the side of peace and Prime Minister Narendra Modi is constantly in contact with Russian and Ukrainian leaders for possible peace diplomacy.

“We sincerely believe that this is not an era of war. Differences must be settled at the negotiating table. It is imperative that there is a return to dialogue and diplomacy. Prolonged conflicts will not serve the interests of either side. My Prime Minister has been in contact with the leaders of both nations and pressed our stand,” said Jaishankar.

“We are also increasingly concerned about the side effects of conflict in terms of the availability and affordability of food and fertilizers. This is a growing concern of the Global South,” he added.

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India has repeatedly called on Russia and Ukraine to return to the path of diplomacy and dialogue and end their ongoing conflict.

Prime Minister Modi has spoken to the presidents of Russia and Ukraine on numerous occasions, urging an immediate end to hostilities and a return to the path of diplomacy and dialogue to resolve the conflict.

In his bilateral meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Uzbekistan on September 16, Modi said “today’s era is not war” and urged him to end the conflict.

India has not yet criticized Russia’s attack on Ukraine and says the crisis should be resolved through dialogue.

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Jaishankar said Austria is an important partner for India in the European Union as it seeks to improve its relations. “We appreciate its strong support for the ongoing negotiations on a free trade agreement, an investment agreement and an agreement on geographical indicators. Their conclusion will of course also have a positive impact on our bilateral economic partnership,” he said.

“Let me emphasize that we consider Austria a serious and consistent partner when it comes to bilateral cooperation. You have experience and capabilities that are relevant for India’s modernization and progress,” he said.

The two countries currently have a trade turnover of approximately US$2.5 billion. More than 150 Australian companies operate in India. “We would like to see these numbers grow as well,” the minister said.

“There are many Austrian companies that can contribute more actively to our national priorities. Similarly, our businesses can create value and employment when they are located in Austria. It is our responsibility as ministers to ensure that such partnerships take place,” he said.

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