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The “bear-hug.” between Modi (left) and Putin. Credit/Press Information Bureau of India

The Modi-Putin summit over July 8-9 began with the two leaders and long-time friends greeting each other with a bear-hug, noticed around the world. The Washington Post reported today in its headline, “Modi Bear-Hugs Putin in Moscow, Marking Deep Ties Between Russia and India.”

War maniac Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy simply melted down upon seeing the bear-hug. He posted on social media: “It is a huge disappointment and a devastating blow to peace efforts to see the leader of the world’s largest democracy [Modi] hug the world’s most bloody criminal in Moscow on such a day.”

The Modi-Putin Joint Statement speaks of the need to organize peace. It reports:

“The Sides highlighted the imperative of peaceful resolution of the conflict around Ukraine through dialogue and diplomacy including engagement between both parties. They noted with appreciation relevant proposals of mediation and good offices aimed at peaceful resolution of the conflict in accordance with international law and on the basis of the UN Charter in its entirety and totality.”

India and Russia, “expressed deep concern on the situation in the Middle East, with a particular focus on Gaza. In this regard they called for the effective implementation of the relevant UNGA resolutions and UNSC resolution 2720 and for immediate safe and unhindered delivery of humanitarian assistance at scale directly to the Palestinian civilian population throughout the Gaza Strip. They also called for the effective implementation of the UNSC resolution 2728 for a lasting sustainable ceasefire…. They reaffirmed their support for Palestine’s full membership in the United Nations and reiterated their unwavering commitment to the principle of the two-state solution according to an internationally accepted basis.” Russia chairs the UN Security Council during July.

On July 9, Prime Minister Modi spoke to President Putin, in a 18-minute video statement, with alternating Hindi to Russian translation: According to the somewhat awkward subtitling from the Prime Minister’s video, he said in closing his remarks:

“We have met, but perhaps this meeting is such that the whole world’s attention is focused on this visit of mine and the whole world is making different meanings out of this visit. Yesterday you called me to your residence, and yesterday evening as a true friend, we stayed together for four-five hours and talked on many topics. And I was happy that we both were able to discuss our views on Ukraine in detail with an open mind, and accepted each other’s views with great respect, tried to listen and understand. You must have seen that along with the success of Bharat ji, he has been expressing his views affectionately by becoming the voice of the Global South, and because of that, naturally today, the aspiration for peace in the world of the Global South is also expected. I have well presented before you yesterday that whether it is war, conflict or terrorist attack, every person who believes in humanity suffers a lot when there is loss of life. But even in that case, when innocent children are murdered, we see innocent children dying, the heart gets pierced and that pain is very terrible, and this topic was also discussed with you in detail. As a friend of XC, I have always said that peace is most important for the bright future of our future generations, but I also know that solutions are not possible on the battlefield. Solutions and peace talks are not successful amidst bombs, guns and bullets and we have to adopt the path of peace through talks only. I am satisfied that you are talking with such an open heart yesterday. There was no whitewashing, no cutting, and I saw a lot of interesting ideas from our conversation. A new thought came out, and I am feeling it and a new thought has come forward. Yes, in our talk yesterday, our mind was also made up on restoration of peace. India is ready to provide every possible cooperation and I am very happy to hear your kind thoughts, and I also assure you, and I also assure the world community, that India is in favor of peace and for peace, my friend President. After listening to Putin’s words yesterday, hope has arisen in my mind and I thank you very much for this. And I would also say this to my friends in the media world.

Putin smiled and replied, “Spasibo.”