Russian President Vladimir Putin extended his New Year message to President Droupadi Murmu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday and highlighted that, despite the difficult international situation in the world, relations between both countries developed dynamically.
Russian President also noted some major developments and India-Russia bilateral cooperation in the outgoing year.
The note read, “The messages addressed to President of the Republic of India Droupadi Murmu and Prime Minister of the Republic of India Narendra Modi note that, despite the difficult international situation, the special and privileged strategic partnership between Russia and India continues to develop dynamically: in the outgoing year, trade has been growing at an exceptionally high rate and joint projects in various areas have been successfully implemented.”
He also stressed the cooperation between the two countries to develop multifaceted bilateral ties and coordinate efforts to strengthen security and stability at the regional and global levels.
The document read further, “Vladimir Putin praised the results of India’s chairmanship of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and the G20 and stressed his conviction that Moscow and New Delhi will continue to develop multifaceted bilateral ties and effectively coordinate efforts to strengthen security and stability at the regional and global levels.”.
In addition, Vladimir Putin extended Christmas and New Year greetings to several former foreign heads of state and government, including Belarus, Tajikistan, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Brzail , South Africa, Turkey and many others.
On December 28, Putin met with the External Affairs Minister, S Jaishankar who was on his formal visit to Moscow from December 25 to 29 as a part of the ongoing high-level exchanges between the two sides.
During the meeting, Putin emphasised the positive stance of Prime Minister Modi on complex global developments, including the situation in Ukraine.
“We know the stance of Prime Minister Modi and we mentioned that repeatedly on many occasions. Well, his attitude towards some complex developments, including the flashpoints like…in Ukraine,” he noted.
The Russian President mentioned that he has advised PM Modi on the developments in Ukraine multiple times and indicated that further discussions on the matter would take place.
“Many times, I advised him of how things have been going there and I know that he (PM Modi) is willing to do his utmost so that the issue is resolved by peaceful means. So, we probably will delve into that deeper now, and we will give additional information to you on that time,” Putin added.
The Russian President also expressed gratitude for the progressing relationship between Russia and India amid global turmoil. “We are gratified to note that despite all the turmoil happening worldwide, the relationship with our true friend in Asia, India has been progressing incrementally,” Putin said.
India has often articulated and clarified its stance on the Russia-Ukraine conflict, maintaining that the crisis must be resolved through diplomacy and dialogue. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began in February 2022, resulting in tens of thousands of deaths on both sides.
Amid the raging military conflict, PM Modi has spoken to Putin as well as President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
PM Modi also met Ukraine President Zelenskyy in Japan during the G7 summit in May 2023.
In the meeting, PM Modi assured that he would do whatever was possible to help resolve the conflict.
“India and I will do whatever we can to resolve the conflict,” PM Modi said.
New Delhi has sought a diplomatic solution to the conflict, with PM Modi telling Russian President Vladimir Putin in September that “now is not an era of war.” The remark drew praise from world leaders as well as the global media.
Prime Minister Modi advised President Putin to ensure a “cessation of violence,” stressing the need for both sides to return to the talks table.
During a telephonic conversation with Putin, PM Modi underlined that Delhi for now will stick to a path of strategic ambivalence on the Ukraine crisis.
This is a pragmatic choice, one that reflects the complexities of a realist world and Delhi’s own positions on territorial integrity and sovereignty.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)