Western attempts to drive a wedge between Moscow and New Delhi are futile, says Putintext_fields
Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered a message of support for India's independence and commended Prime Minister Narendra Modi's leadership during a keynote address in Sochi, Russia.
He emphasised that India's government acts in the best interests of its citizens, and any Western attempts to drive a wedge between Moscow and New Delhi are futile.
"The West is trying to create an enemy out of everyone who does not agree with their monopoly, everyone is at risk - even India, but the Indian leadership is acting independently in the interests of its nation," Putin stated.
Putin dismissed the notion that India could be swayed away from its relationship with Russia, emphasising, "Attempts to turn India away from Russia are pointless; India is an independent state."
His comments come in the backdrop of criticism faced by Indian refiners for purchasing discounted Russian oil after Western nations imposed sanctions on Russia due to its invasion of Ukraine in February 2021. The United States and the European Union ceased buying oil from Russia in response to the conflict.
Putin praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi, acknowledging India's significant growth and asserting its global presence. "India has more than 1.5 billion population, more than 7% of economic growth... that's a powerful country, mighty country. And it's growing stronger and stronger under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi," Putin remarked.
He also noted that, like Russia, India has a global footprint, with its citizens making significant contributions across various parts of the world.
Notably, Putin has limited his international travels since launching Russia's full-scale offensive against Ukraine in February 2022. He opted to skip major international gatherings such as the BRICS summit in South Africa and the G20 Summit in New Delhi. Explaining his absence, Putin cited a desire to avoid creating a "political show" that might inconvenience host countries.
The Russian leader faces an arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC) over Russia's actions in Ukraine. He clarified that he refrained from attending these events to prevent difficulties for host nations, especially those adhering to ICC protocols.
In March, the ICC issued an arrest warrant for Putin, primarily over his decision to deploy troops to Ukraine and the alleged illegal deportation of children to Russia. Russia has vehemently rejected the ICC's authority and labelled the arrest warrant as "illegal."