'Talking to Modi made it clear': Boris Johnson on New Delhi's stand on Russia-Ukraine
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Friday said he agrees with India's stand on the Russia-Ukraine war as India has a historic relationship with Russia that everybody understands and respects. Acknowledging India's strong condemnation of what happened to Ukraine's Bucha, Boris Johnson said, “Talking to Narendra, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today made it clear that he has already intervened several times and I am sure this is no secret from our Indian (media) friends, he has talked to Vladimir Putin several times."
"What Indians want is peace and they want Russia out. And I totally agree. And I think there is a difference in balance as India has a historic relationship with Russia that everybody understands and respects that goes back decades," the UK Prime Minister said.
"What was so interesting about the last couple of days was the way in which Britain and India are being really encouraged, obliged by the pressure against autocratic coercion.. whether it's Russia or China or whatever to do more together. And that is offering a huge, huge joint agenda," the UK PM said.
India's stance on the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war was one of the contentious issues on the table as the UK PM talked to PM Modi and foreign minister S Jaishankar. India abstained from voting against Russia in the United Nations but has condemned the violence. At the same time, India has continued its trade with Russia. While this position of New Delhi did not go down well with the United States, Boris Johnson steered clear of any row and expressed a clear understanding of India's stand.
Foreign secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla also maintained that there was no pressure from Boris Johnson on the Russia-Ukraine situation. "They did discuss the Ukraine issue but there was no pressure," the foreign secretary said after Johnson met PM Modi whom he called his 'khaas dost' (special friend). "Prime Minister Johnson shared his perspective on it, Prime Minister Modi shared ours - which is that the Russia-Ukraine war should end immediately. There was no pressure of any kind," the foreign secretary added.
Talking about the Russia-Ukraine situation in general, Boris Johnson, who recently met Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky, said Britain plans to reopen its embassy in Kyiv next week. Britain and its allies will not watch passively as Putin carries on this onslaught, the UK PM said.