Indian PM Modi tells Russia’s Putin now ‘is not an era of war’

NEW DELHI (Reuters): Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday told Russian President Vladimir Putin that now is not a time for war, with food, fertiliser and fuel security among the major concerns of the world at present.

“I know that today’s era is not an era of war, and I have spoken to you on the phone about this,” Modi told Putin on the sidelines of a regional security bloc summit in Uzbekistan, adding that democracy, diplomacy and dialogue keep the world together.

Putin said that he understood Modi’s concerns about the Ukraine war. “I know about your position on the conflict in Ukraine, and I know about your concerns. We want all of this to end as soon as possible.”

Putin, who met Chinese President Xi Jinping at the summit, acknowledged on Wednesday Beijing’s concerns about the war.

Modi and Putin spoke on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) meeting, whose permanent members, besides India, include China, Russia, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

“Our trade is growing, thanks to your additional supplies of Russian fertilisers to the Indian markets, which have grown more than eightfold. I am hopeful that this is going to be of huge help to the agricultural sector of India,” Putin said.