PM Modi, Boris Johnson discuss Ukraine crisis

PM Modi, Boris Johnson discuss Ukraine crisis

PMO statement on talks makes no mention of Russia

Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to British PM Boris Johnson on Tuesday night about the situation in Ukraine, both governments announced. The Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement that the two leaders had a “detailed discussion” and Mr. Modi “reiterated India’s consistent appeal” for a ceasefire and return to diplomacy, but did not make any reference to Russia.

“[PM] emphasized India’s belief in respect for international law and the territorial integrity and sovereignty of all states, as the basis of the contemporary world order,” the statement said.

However, the UK PM’s office claimed that the two leaders had specifically agreed that “Russia needed to adhere to the UN Charter” and that “the pair agreed that Ukraine’s integrity and territorial sovereignty must be respected.”.

The MEA did not comment on the difference in statements. India has thus far abstained from all UN resolutions that criticise Russia’s actions, and none of the official bilateral statements mention the Russian invasion of Ukraine in direct terms.

The call between the PMs comes ahead an expected visit to Delhi by Mr Johnson in April for a bilateral summit that has had to be put off twice during the Covid pandemic. U.K. Foreign Secretary Liz Truss will visit Delhi next week, on March 29-31, ahead of Mr.Johnson’s visit — one of a number of visits by Western diplomats and leaders countries this month, seeking a shift in India’s position.

“The Prime Minister conveyed his desire to welcome PM Johnson in India at an early date, as per mutual convenience,” the PMO statement added.

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