Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that India stands on the side of peace in the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict, Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported. In an interview with WSJ ahead of his departure for a historic State visit to the US, PM Modi said that when it comes to the Ukraine conflict, “Some people say that we are neutral.
But we are not neutral. We are on the side of peace.” Asked about cricitism in the US of his government for not taking a more forceful stance against Russia in the conflict with Ukraine, PM Modi told the publication, “I don’t think this type of perception is widespread in the US.” “I think India’s position is well known and well understood in the entire world.
The world has full confidence that India’s topmost priority is peace,” he told the Wall Street Journal in an interview that was conducted at the Prime Minister’s residence in New Delhi. The Prime Minister said all countries should respect international law and the sovereignty of countries, disputes should be resolved with diplomacy and dialogue, not war. India has abstained from UN votes condemning the invasion.
The PM during his interview with WSJ said he has spoken several times to Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. He said he most recently spoke to Zelenskyy on the sidelines of the Group of Seven summit in Japan in May. “India will do whatever it can” and supports “all genuine efforts to bring an end to the conflict and ensure enduring peace and stability,” PM Modi said.
According to The Wall Street Journal, India’s relationship with the US has strengthened in recent years in part because of economic ties. Trade between the two countries reached a record USD 191 billion in 2022, making the US India’s largest trading partner. The US is India’s third-biggest source of foreign direct investment and one of the top five destinations for investment from India. India has at the same time, maintained close ties with Russia, which still provides about 50 per cent of the country’s military supplies, including arms, ammunition, tanks, jet fighters, and S-400 air defence systems, according to WSJ.
PM Modi during the interview also said that “there is an unprecedented trust” between the leaders of the US and India. He hailed growing defence cooperation between the two countries as “an important pillar of our partnership,” which he said extends to trade, technology, and energy. In the US, PM Modi will address the joint session of the US Congress, meet with business leaders and Indian expats, and join President Joe Biden for a state dinner at the White House.