Modi discusses war in Ukraine with Austrian leader after Moscow visit


Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi stressed that diplomacy is the only solution to end the wars in Ukraine and Gaza, a day after he concluded a controversial visit to Moscow where he met Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Modi was in Vienna on Wednesday to meet Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer.

“Problems cannot be solved on the battlefield,” Modi said along with Nehammer after their meeting. “The loss of innocent lives is unacceptable, wherever it takes place.”

In Moscow, Modi and Putin had stressed the close ties between India and Russia. The two-day visit angered Kiev and its allies, especially as it came amid a Russian attack on a children’s hospital in Kiev.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called Modi’s trip “a huge disappointment and a devastating blow to peace efforts, to see the leader of the world’s largest democracy on such a day in Moscow embracing the world’s bloodiest criminal.”

India and Russia have said in a joint statement that they will continue to cooperate in the field of military technologies.

Because Russian oil is cheap due to Western sanctions, India has become one of the largest buyers. The country also buys defense equipment from Russia. In the war in Ukraine, the government in New Delhi has been restrained in criticizing Moscow, instead calling on all parties to engage in dialogue.

Austria offers itself for negotiations with Ukraine

India attended the peace summit in Ukraine last month, but was represented only by a senior official as Modi himself chose not to attend.

Austria, which adheres to military neutrality and is not a member of NATO, tries to act as a mediator in the war.

“We talked today about an even stronger commitment,” Nehammer said, adding that Austria is always available as a venue for future diplomacy with Ukraine.

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