Xi and Modi leave Putin isolated over Ukraine at summit
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has publicly criticised Russia’s Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, saying we live in a period of peace.
Modi told Russia to “move onto a path of peace” and praised “democracy, diplomacy and dialogue” on the sidelines of the Shanghai Co-operation Organisation (SCO) summit in Uzbekistan.
“Today’s era is not of war and I have spoken to you about it on the call. Today we will get the opportunity to talk about how we can progress on the path of peace. India and Russia have stayed together with each other for several decades,” Modi told Putin in front of the cameras.
“We spoke several times on the phone about India-Russia bilateral relations and various issues. We should find ways to address the problems of food, fuel security and fertilisers. I want to thank Russia and Ukraine for helping us to evacuate our students from Ukraine,” the Hindu nationalist said in the Silk Road city of Samarkand.
A weakened Putin earlier conceded that China had “questions and concerns” over the invasion.
Emerging as the dominant voice in the bloc, which was established as a rival to Nato, Chinese President Xi Jinping asked member states to “boost mutual trust and work together to cope with complex changes in the exterior environment”, according to China’s official media. “We must together oppose any interference with a country’s internal affairs under any excuse but tightly hold the destiny of our own country in our hands.”
The planet had “entered a new period of turbulent change” which demanded like-minded states to join together, Xi announced.
The SCO also includes Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Iran is in the process of joining and signed a membership memorandum at the summit.
Xi called for SCO expansion more countries had shown an interest in joining. He said China would offer training to 2,000 law-enforcement officers from SCO members.
Putin told the Uzbek summit that he supported Beijing claim to Taiwan and praised its “balanced position” on Ukraine while acknowledging Xi’s “concerns”. Xi has not criticised Putin over the invasion but has not exported arms to Russia.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Vladimir Putin. Picture credit: Kremlin