India dismisses reports about differences with Russia
July 10, 2024  22:43
India on Wednesday dismissed as 'factually incorrect' reports about differences with Russia on the issue of Ukraine that apparently led to scrapping of a larger delegation-level meeting during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's two-day visit to Moscow.

"To the best of my knowledge, there are no cancellations of any particular programming element during the Prime Minister's visit to Moscow," Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra said at a media briefing in Vienna.

He was responding to a question about some friction in Moscow that apparently led to scrapping of one session.

"I actually find it surprising but there are no facts to this factually incorrect, quite misleading (report). In fact, the Prime Minister's visit to Moscow was extremely successful," he said.

In fact, the discussions between Prime Minister Modi and President Putin far exceeded the time that was actually allocated by the two sides.

"And there was absolutely no cancellation of any kind of programme," he added.

Earlier, Russia's state-run TASS news agency quoted Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying that Prime Minister Modi and President Putin decided to keep things intimate at their Tuesday meeting in Moscow, covering all topics productively without the need for a larger breakout session.

When asked why the talks between the two leaders were not followed by a meeting with larger delegations, Peskov explained this was not because of some problems but rather that the conversation between Putin and Modi that lasted more than three hours (and) was attended by officials in charge of 'almost all major spheres of [bilateral] cooperation'.

In response to a question on the Ukraine issue and what President Putin's assessment was about it, Kwatra said, "I can only share with you our perspective... Whatever needs to be done to address this through dialogue and diplomacy and not (through) war is something which we've always believed in, my prime minister always believed."

"I can say a few countries have said this publicly that you can't find a solution to this conflict on the battlefield. He (PM Modi) has been one of the very few leaders who has publicly and openly said this. And said this not just in a third country but also to the Russian president," he said.

Responding to another question, Kwatra asserted that the Prime Minister said it clearly -- this is not a time of war, a solution to the Ukraine conflict cannot be found on the battlefield and loss of innocent lives are unacceptable.

"In discussion today dialogue and diplomacy is the way forward for a solution. Whatever India can contribute to dialogue, India will do," he added. -- PTI
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