Modi discusses Ukraine war with Austrian leader after Moscow visit

Vienna, Jul. 10, (dpa/GNA) – Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi insisted that diplomacy is the only solution to ending the wars in Ukraine and Gaza, a day after he wrapped up 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 alongside Nehammer after their meeting. “The loss of innocent lives is unacceptable, no matter where it takes place.”

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

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky blasted Modi’s trip as “a huge disappointment and a devastating blow to peace efforts to see the leader of the world’s largest democracy hug the world’s most bloody criminal in Moscow on such a day.”

In a joint statement, India and Russia said they will continue to cooperate on military technologies.

Because Russian oil is cheap due to Western sanctions, India has become one of the largest customers. The country also purchases defence equipment from Russia. In the Ukraine war, the government in New Delhi has been muted in it criticism of Moscow and instead calls on all sides to engage in dialogue.

India took part in last month’s Summit on Peace in Ukraine, but was only represented there by a senior official as Modi himself chose not to attend.

Austria, which adheres to military neutrality and is not a NATO member, has tried to position itself as a mediator in the war.

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