India's relationship with Russia gives it ability to urge Russian President Putin to end war in Ukraine: White House

White House Press Secretary, called India the U.S.’ “strategic partner” with whom they hold “full and frank dialogue”, including their ties with Russia

Updated - July 10, 2024 11:09 am IST

Published - July 10, 2024 10:46 am IST - Washington, DC

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin visit the Atom pavilion at the Exhibition of Achievements of National Economy (VDNKh) in Moscow, Russia on July 9, 2024.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin visit the Atom pavilion at the Exhibition of Achievements of National Economy (VDNKh) in Moscow, Russia on July 9, 2024. | Photo Credit: Reuters

The White House on July 9 said that India’s ties with Russia give it the ability to urge Russian President Vladimir Putin to end the conflict in Ukraine. The statement came after PM Modi emphasised to President Putin that the solution to the Ukraine conflict lay in dialogue and not on the battlefield.

While addressing a press briefing, Karine Jean-Pierre, White House Press Secretary, called India the U.S.’ “strategic partner” with whom they hold “full and frank dialogue”, including their ties with Russia. She called it critical that all nations, including India support efforts to realise an enduring peace when it comes to Ukraine.

Asked about PM Modi’s meeting with Mr. Putin, Jean-Pierre said, “India is a strategic partner with whom we engage in full and frank dialogue, including their relationship with Russia and we’ve talked about this before. So we think it’s critical that all countries, including India, support efforts to realize an enduring and just peace when it comes to Ukraine. It is important for all our allies to realise this.”

“We also believe India’s long-standing relationship with Russia gives it the ability to urge President Putin, to end his brutal war, an unprovoked war in Ukraine. It is for President Putin to end. President Putin started the war, and he can end the war.”

Jean-Pierre made the statement after Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his bilateral talks with Russian President Putin raised the issue of killings of children during conflicts and said it is “heart-wrenching” when innocent children die. The Prime Minister said that everyone who believes in humanity is hurt when there is a loss of lives.

This comes in the wake of the recent missile strike on a children’s hospital in Kyiv, which killed 37 children.

“Be it war, conflicts, terror attacks - everyone who believes in humanity is pained when there is loss of lives. But when innocent children are murdered, when we see innocent children dying, it is heart-wrenching. That pain is immense. I also held a detailed discussion with you over this,” PM Modi said during the meeting.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that there is no solution on the battlefield and added that peace talks do not succeed amid bombs, guns and bullets.

PM Modi said, “As a friend, I have always said that for the bright future of our coming generations, peace is of utmost importance. But I also know that solutions are not possible on battlegrounds. Amid bombs, guns and bullets, solutions and peace talks do not succeed. We will have to follow the path to peace only through talks.”

It was PM Modi’s first visit to Russia since the war started between Moscow and Kyiv in 2022. India has always advocated “peace and diplomacy” for resolving the conflict between Ukraine and Russia.

Earlier on Tuesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy expressed disappointment over Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Russia, which he termed a “devastating blow to peace efforts.”

Mr. Zelenskyy took to social media platform X to post that on the same day 37 people, including three children, were killed and 170 others were injured due to Russia’s missile strike at the largest children’s hospital in Ukraine’s capital city Kyiv.

“In Ukraine today, 37 people were killed, three of whom were children, and 170 were injured, including 13 children, as a result of Russia’s brutal missile strike. A Russian missile struck the largest children’s hospital in Ukraine, targeting young cancer patients. Many were buried under the rubble. It is a huge disappointment and a devastating blow to peace efforts to see the leader of the world’s largest democracy hug the world’s most bloody criminal in Moscow on such a day” the Ukrainian leader said.

PM Modi was on a two-day official visit to Russia from July 8-9. During his visit, he held a bilateral meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday. PM Modi also addressed the Indian community in Moscow.

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