No solution can be found on battleground, Modi tells Putin

Wednesday 10th July 2024 09:35 EDT

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday held bilateral talks with Russian president Vladimir Putin, marking the second day of his visit. During an informal meeting with Putin at the latter's official residence in Moscow, PM Modi told him that no solution can be found on the battleground.
Earlier in the day, Modi addressed the Indian diaspora in Moscow. At a jam packed event, the prime minister called Russia an ‘all-weather friend’. He also said that he will work three times harder in his third term as prime minister.

On Monday, Modi was accorded a state of honour upon his touchdown at the Moscow airport. Later, he met Putin who hosted a private dinner for him. Putin expressed gratitude for hosting PM Modi and said, You are welcome here, friend. I'm really happy to see you." Putin took PM Modi on a ride in his electric car around his residence, Novo-Ogaryovo. The Russian Embassy in India shared a video of the two leaders enjoying the drive, which followed a conversation between them.

Russia has broadly heeded to India's call to end the recruitment of Indians as support staff to the Russian military and ensure the return of those still operating in the force, top sources said.

PM Modi and Putin have met 16 times over the past 10 years. The last in-person meeting between the two leaders took place on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit in Uzbekistan's Samarkand in 2022

PM Modi had earlier said that he is looking forward to reviewing all aspects of bilateral cooperation with “friend Vladimir Putin.” He further said that both the leaders will “seek to play a supportive role for a peaceful and stable region.” This is Modi’s first visit to Russia since Moscow invaded Ukraine in February 2022. Modi’s visit to Russia comes as leaders of the 32 nations in the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) gather in Washington DC from July 9-11 to celebrate 75 years of the anti-Russia military alliance.

India and Russia have agreed to significantly enhance their bilateral trade to over USD 100 billion by 2030 through various measures. These include boosting investments, using national currencies for trade settlements, and expanding cooperation across multiple sectors such as energy, agriculture, infrastructure, and digital economy.

Both nations aim to eliminate non-tariff trade barriers, explore the possibility of a free trade area, and increase cargo turnover via new transport routes. The agreement also emphasizes cooperation in nuclear energy, healthcare, and humanitarian efforts, aiming to strengthen their strategic partnership.

PM Modi after concluding his two-day state visit to Russia, has departed for Austria following what the Ministry of External Affairs described as a "successful" trip.

Upon arrival in Vienna, he is scheduled to meet Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer. This visit to Austria is significant as it marks the first by an Indian prime minister in the past four decades, since Indira Gandhi's visit to the Central European nation in 1983.

Prime Minister Modi was on Tuesday officially conferred the 'Order of St Andrew the Apostle' award by Putin for exceptional services in promoting bilateral ties between the two countries. "Honoured to receive the Order of St. Andrew the Apostle. I dedicate it to the people of India," Modi said in a post on X after receiving the award at a ceremony.

Established in 1698 by Tsar Peter the Great in honour of Saint Andrew, the first apostle of Jesus and patron saint of Russia, the Order of St Andrew the Apostle is the highest state decoration of Russia.

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