India’s Modi discusses Ukraine war with Austria a day after meeting Putin


VIENNA (AP) — Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi discussed the war in Ukraine with Austria, an ally of Kiev that has a policy of military neutrality, on Wednesday, stressing the need for diplomacy, a day after he met Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow.

Modi met Chancellor Karl Nehammer during what he described as the first visit by an Indian prime minister to Austria in 41 years.

Nehammer told reporters it was important to understand India’s position on Ukraine and convey Europe’s concerns. He said it was an “important and significant signal” that India was participating in a top in Switzerland last month, adding that Austria could act as a “bridge builder” to advance peace efforts.

Modi’s visit to Moscow, with which New Delhi has long had a cooperative relationship, was his first since Russia’s large-scale invasion of Ukraine.

While in Moscow, Modi reiterated India’s neutral stance on the invasion. He also hinted at a strike on Monday when Russian missiles affected all of Ukrainedamaging the largest children’s hospital in Kiev and killing at least 42 people nationwide, including several children.

“Whether it is a war, a battle or a terrorist attack, anyone who believes in humanity, when lives are lost, it hurts him,” Modi said on Tuesday. “When innocent children are killed, when we see innocent children dying, the heart hurts. And that pain is very bad.”

In his remarks on Wednesday, Modi said in general terms that he and Nehammer had “extensive discussions” on all conflicts in the world, including Ukraine. He said that “problems cannot be resolved on the battlefield” and that “loss of innocent lives is not acceptable wherever it takes place.”

“Both India and Austria emphasize on dialogue and diplomacy for the early restoration of peace and stability,” he said. “We are both ready to provide all possible support to achieve this.”

Modi and Nehammer did not answer questions from journalists.

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