As Vladimir Putin showers praise on PM Modi in Moscow, US reacts

Putin said Modi devoted your entire life to serving the Indian people

RUSSIA-INDIA-POLITICS-DIPLOMACY Russia's President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Narendra Modi take a walk during an informal meeting at the former's Novo-Ogaryovo state residence | AFP via Sputnik

Russian President Vladimir Putin heaped praise on Prime Minister Narendra Modi during their meeting at the former's official residence at Novo-Ogaryovo near Moscow on Monday for a "private engagement". Just after the meeting, the US reacted to Modi's two-day visit to Moscow, stating that it "would look to the Prime Minister's public remarks to see what he talked about."

Modi is in Russia for a two-day visit that will see both countries deliberate on a host of topics, including trade and energy. Putin, who welcomed Modi at his official residence for an informal meeting, congratulated the latter on his re-election. 

"I would like to congratulate you on your reelection as prime minister. I think this is not an accident, but the result of your work over many years," Putin told the Prime Minister.

"You have your own ideas. You are a very energetic person, able to achieve results in the interests of India and the Indian people," Putin said. "The result is obvious. You have devoted your entire life to serving the Indian people, and they can feel it," Putin said,

The Prime Minister thanked Putin for his words, adding that he had only one goal. "It is the people and my country," Modi told Putin.

RUSSIA-INDIA-POLITICS-DIPLOMACY Putin and Prime Minister Narendra Modi ride on a golf cart during an informal meeting at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence | AFP

The meeting, held as the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues, has caught the attention of the US, which reiterated its relations with India, calling it a strategic partner. "India is a strategic partner with whom we engage in a full and frank dialogue. And that includes our concerns about their relationship with Russia," State Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller said.

On Modi's Moscow visit, Miller added: "We did just see Modi, like (Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor) Orban, meet with (Ukrainian) President (Volodymyr) Zelenskyy. We thought that was an important step to take. And we would urge India, as we do any country when it engages with Russia, to make clear that any resolution to the conflict in Ukraine needs to be one that respects the UN charter, that respects Ukraine's territorial integrity, Ukraine's sovereignty," Miller said.

"I will look to Prime Minister Modi's public remarks to see what he talked about. But as I said, we made quite clear directly with India our concerns about their relationship with Russia. So we would hope India and any other country, when they engage with Russia, would make clear that Russia should respect the UN charter, should respect Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity," he said in response to a question.

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