Britain, India call for immediate cease-fire in Ukraine

Britain, India call for immediate cease-fire in Ukraine


NEW DELHI (AP) — India and Britain on Friday called on Russia to declare an immediate cease-fire in Ukraine, as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced an expansion of economic and defense ties that could help India reduce its dependence on Moscow.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he and Johnson discussed the situation in Ukraine during a meeting in New Delhi and underscored the importance of diplomacy and dialogue.

Johnson did not pressure Modi to take a tougher stand against Russia over its actions in Ukraine, said Harsh Shringla, India’s foreign secretary.

Modi has called the situation in Ukraine “very worrying” and has appealed to both sides for peace. While India has condemned the killings of civilians in Ukraine, it has so far not criticized Russian President Vladimir Putin, and abstained when the U.N. General Assembly voted this month to suspend Russia from the Human Rights Council.

India was an ally of Moscow during the Cold War but has since sought to maintain ties with both Russia and Western nations.

Johnson used the Hindi language to describe Modi as a “Khaas Dost,” or special friend, and said, “Our relations have never been as strong or as good between us as they are now.’’

He told reporters that the world "faces growing threats from autocratic states which seek to undermine democracy, choke off free and fair trade and trample on sovereignty.”

“Our collaboration on the issues that matter to both our countries, from climate change to energy security and defense, is of vital importance as we look to the future,″ Johnson said.

He said India had come out strongly against killings in Bucha earlier this month, and that Modi had “already intervened several times with Vladimir Putin to ask him what on Earth he is doing and where it is going.”


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