Putin and Modi discuss Ukraine, armed mutiny in phone call

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Moscow/New Delhi (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed the situation around Ukraine and how Moscow had resolved an armed mercenary mutiny in a telephone call with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday, the Kremlin and New Delhi said.

Moscow said that Modi had expressed support for what the Kremlin called the Russian leadership’s decisive actions in handling the mutiny by the Wagner mercenary group last Saturday.

The Indian government said Putin, who will also join Modi on Tuesday for a virtual summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, informed the prime minister about the recent developments in Russia during their conversation.

The call comes after the United States and India declared themselves “among the closest partners in the world” last week during a state visit to Washington by Modi.

India has not condemned its old ally Russia over the invasion of Ukraine and have urged both sides to resolve their differences through diplomacy. Modi told Putin last year that “today’s era is not an era of war”.

“While discussing the situation in Ukraine, PM (Modi) reiterated his call for dialogue and diplomacy,” New Delhi said in a statement.

The boss of Russia’s Wagner mercenary group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, shocked the world by leading Saturday’s armed revolt, only to abruptly call it off as his fighters approached Moscow.

India’s national security adviser, Ajit Doval, also spoke to his counterpart Nikolai Patrushev on Wednesday on the failed mutiny, an Indian security establishment source said.

India remains dependent on Moscow for its defense needs and has sharply increased its imports of cheap Russian oil, frustrating the West.

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