By Lalit K Jha
Washington, Sep 20 (PTI) Prime Minister Narendra Modi's message to Russian President Vladimir Putin during their meeting on the sidelines of the SCO Summit in Uzbekistan "is a statement of principle" of what he believes is “right and just” and it “was very much welcomed" by the US, the White House said on Tuesday.
During his meeting with Putin in Uzbekistan city Samarkand on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit, which concluded last week, Modi told the Russian president, “Today's era is not an era of war, and I have spoken to you on the phone about this."
On his part, Putin told Modi that he was aware of India's concerns over the Ukraine conflict and that Russia will do everything possible to end it as soon as possible.
Responding to a question on Modi remarks, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan told reporters at a White House news conference that what the prime minister said was "a statement of principle on behalf of what he believes is right and just (and) it was very much welcomed by the US."
The remark of the Indian leadership, which has longstanding relationships with Moscow, telling Russia that now is the time for war to end is commendable, he said.
And the way this war should end is for Russia to abide by the basic terms of the UN charter and to return the territories that it has seized by force. This is a message that every country -- in spite of how they feel about Russia, Ukraine and the US -- "should be able to centre around this basic proposition", Sullivan said.
"You cannot conquer your neighbour's territory by force. Peace will come fast and most decisively to Ukraine if Russia abandons that effort. And we would like to see every country in the world making that case. They can do it publicly if they like. They can do it privately if they like. But sending that clear and unmistakable message to Moscow at this time is the most vital thing. I think we can collectively do to produce peace in that region," he added. PTI LKJ SCY