SCO Summit: Modi delivers peace talk to Putin

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By Manish Anand

New Delhi, September 16: The only interest of the western world in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation was on what Prime Minister Narendra Modi tells the Russian President Vladimir Putin, and the bilateral between the two on Friday evening turned out to be the show stopper event in Samarkand, Tajikistan.

To an unsteady Putin, who was constantly tapping his feet, shuffling the notes in his right hand, Modi gave a reality check to the Russian President that this is not an era of war.

Modi’s remarks in Hindi were aired live for the television that was almost the most watched five-minute conversation between the two leaders.

“Your Excellency, this is not an era of war. This is the time of diplomacy, democracy and dialogue,” said Modi, while recalling that he had spoken to both the Russian and the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zalenskyy.

Modi thanked the cooperation of Russia and Ukraine in the evacuation efforts of the Indian students who were stranded in Ukrainian cities amid the Russian invasion.

To Putin, who was listening and looking at Modi, Prime Minister stressed that the Russian President needed to take initiatives for resolution of some of the pressing issues such as deepening food and energy crisis on account of the situation in Ukraine.

Yet, Putin was made comfortable by Modi who shared the deep ties between India and Russia for several decades, while striking a personal connect by stating that both of them had almost an overlapping public service career, beginning in 2001.

Putin on his parts told Modi that he was aware of the stand of the Indian Prime Minister in the ongoing Ukrainian conflicts, while assuring that there would be an early steps as desired by him to address the concerns.

However, Putin was quoted by some of the news agencies within an hour of his meeting with Modi that Russia will intensify the offensive against Ukraine despite reversals. Media reports quoting the Russian military sources have stated that the Ukrainian army has been able to wrest not less than 6000 square kms of land which were being occupied by the Russian forces.

Modi who had skipped the informal dinner on Thursday stuck to his business approach at the SCO Summit by focusing on the agenda even while Chinese President Xi Jinping’s bid to hog the limelight came a cropper in Samarkand.

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