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PM Modi, UK counterpart Boris Johnson discuss Ukraine situation over phone

PM Modi reiterated India’s consistent appeal for cessation of hostilities and a return to dialogue, diplomacy. He emphasized India's belief in respect for international law and territorial integrity of all states, PMO informed.

Written by: India TV News Desk New Delhi Updated on: March 22, 2022 22:33 IST
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, UK PM Boris Johnson discuss Ukraine
Image Source : PTI AND AP

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and UK counterpart Boris Johnson.

Highlights

  • PM Modi, UK counterpart Boris Johnson discussed Ukraine over phone call
  • PM Modi reiterated India’s consistent appeal for cessation of hostilities
  • Prime Ministers said they are both looking forward to meeting in person “at the earliest"

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and UK counterpart Boris Johnson on Tuesday discussed Ukraine situation over a phone call.

PM Modi reiterated India’s consistent appeal for cessation of hostilities and a return to dialogue, diplomacy. He emphasized India's belief in respect for international law and territorial integrity of all states, PMO informed.

The Prime Minister's Office further said, "PM Modi conveyed his desire to welcome PM Johnson in India at an early date. The two leaders also discussed issues of bilateral interests in various areas. PM Modi appreciated the progress in implementing 'India-UK Roadmap 2030' adopted during Virtual Summit last year."

Johnson called on India to work with the UK to intensify efforts to promote peace and de-escalation in the region, and both leaders are said to have agreed that respect for international law was the only way forward, a Downing Street spokesperson said in a readout of their conversation.

“The leaders discussed the grave situation in Ukraine, and the Prime Minister said he believed the actions of Putin’s regime were deeply disturbing and disastrous for the world,” the official said.

“The pair agreed that Ukraine’s integrity and territorial sovereignty must be respected. Russia needed to adhere to the UN Charter, the leaders said, and both agreed that respect for international law was the only way to ensure global peace and prosperity,” the spokesperson said.

Prime Minister Modi is said to have updated his UK counterpart on India’s support for the humanitarian situation in Ukraine during the call, while Johnson told him that "the UK and India should intensify efforts to promote peace and de-escalation in the region".

With reference to bilateral relations, the Prime Ministers said they are both looking forward to meeting in person “at the earliest opportunity”.

“The leaders welcomed India and the UK’s strong and prosperous relationship, and agreed to continue to build on trade, security and business ties in the coming weeks and months,” according to the readout.

The call between the leaders comes in the wake of disappointment in the UK over India’s stand in the ongoing Russia-Ukraine crisis, abstaining from United Nations votes condemning Russia’s actions.

Last week, on the sidelines of a UK Turkey Green Finance Conference in London, UK Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan admitted being “very disappointed” with India’s stand over the Russia-Ukraine conflict and said work would continue with Indian partners with the "hope that their views will change".

"India is an incredibly important trading partner for the UK," the minister reiterated.

On India’s decision to continue to access crude oil imports from Russia, Johnson’s spokesperson at 10 Downing Street said last week that the UK would want all countries to “move away” from Russian exports.

“We understand the position for individual countries is different, each country is in a different position and we respect that. But certainly, the Prime Minister wants to broaden the coalition of countries even further, so that everyone is united not just in condemnation but in action (against Putin),” the spokesperson said.

Meanwhile, the Department for International Trade (DIT) confirmed that the second round of India-UK free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations concluded last week.

“India is projected to become the world’s third largest economy by 2050 and a Free Trade Agreement will open up huge opportunities for UK businesses to trade with India’s 2.25 trillion pounds economy,” a DIT spokesperson said.

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