India calls for cessation of hostilities in Ukraine

New Delhi: India on Thursday called for immediate cessation of hostilities in Ukraine days after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered fresh mobilization of troops and declared that he would not hesitate to use nuclear weapons to defend his country’s territory.

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“India has repeatedly emphasised on the immediate cessation of hostilities and the need to resolve the ongoing conflict through dialogue and diplomacy,” External Affairs Ministry spokesman Arindam Bagchi told reporters here.

He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had reiterated the need for cessation of hostilities during his meeting with Putin at Samarkand last week.

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“India’s position has also been clear and consistent in so far as respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity of countries is concerned,” Bagchi said when asked about plans of holding referendums in Russian controlled parts of eastern and southern Ukraine.

At Samarkand, Modi had told Putin: “I know that today’s era is not of war and we have spoken to you many times on the phone that democracy, diplomacy and dialogue are such things that touch the world.”

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