New Delhi: India has been pushing for peace in Ukraine and wants Russians out of that country, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said here Friday. Boris Johnson made the observation after holding wide-ranging talks with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi.
At a press conference, Johnson said Modi has been ‘very strong’ in his reaction to what happened in Bucha in Ukraine. He also said that everyone understands and respects New Delhi’s decades-old historic relationship with Moscow. He pointed out that so far India has taken the right stand
The British prime minister was responding to a question on whether he asked Modi to use his influence over Moscow to put pressure on Russia to stop its aggression against Ukraine.
Johnson also announced that the UK’s embassy in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv will reopen next week. He asserted that Britain and its allies will not watch passively to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s ‘onslaught’ in Ukraine.
“I think you have to recognise that Indians and Narendra Modi, in particular, came out with very strong language on what’s happened in Bucha. Talking to PM Modi, it is clear he has already intervened several times with Vladimir Putin,” Johnson told reporters.
“What the Indians want is peace in Ukraine. They want Russians out and I totally agree with that,” Johnson said. He added that India and the UK have greater convergence on various challenges facing the world.
At the same time, Johnson said India-Russia ties are historically well-known and they are not going to change it by pressure.
“The situation around the world is obliging the UK and India to do more together. The Russia-India ties are historically well-known and they are not going to change,” Johnson pointed out.
In his media statement, Modi called for dialogue and diplomacy to resolve the crisis in Ukraine. “We stressed on dialogue and diplomacy for an immediate ceasefire and resolution of the problem in Ukraine. We also reiterated the importance of respect for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of all countries,” Modi said.
Johnson was asked about concerns over human rights violations and the rise of Hindu nationalism in India. Johnson asserted that India is a ‘great’ democracy and it has constitutional protection for its people.
“On our relations with India and how we deal with questions around human rights and democratic values, of course, we have these conversations. But the advantage of our friendship is that we can have them, and we can have them in a friendly and private way,” Johnson said.
“It’s very important to realise that India has constitutional protections for communities. India is very very different from autocracies around the world. It is a great democracy. Around 1.35 billion people live in a democracy and that’s something we should celebrate,” said the British prime minister.