Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a bilateral meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the SCO summit here and said "today's era isn't of war" while emphasising the need to find ways to address the problems of food, fuel security and fertilizers.
"Today's era isn't of war and I have spoken to you about it on the call. Today we'll get the opportunity to talk about how can we progress on the path of peace. India-Russia has stayed together with each other for several decades," the Prime Minister said. "We spoke on the phone several times about India-Russia bilateral relations and also on various issues. We should find ways to address the problems of food, fuel security and fertilizers. I want to thank Russia & Ukraine for helping us to evacuate our students from Ukraine," he added.
In his remarks, the Russian President said that he knows about India's position and concerns regarding the Ukraine conflict.
"I know about your position on Ukraine's conflict and your concerns. We want all of this to end as soon as possible. We will keep you abreast of what is happening there," Putin said.
Russia had launched a special military operation in Ukraine in February this year.
Uzbekistan is the current chair of SCO 2022 whereas India will be the next chair of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.
Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping have congratulated India for the SCO Presidency in 2023 during the meeting of the expanded circle of the Heads of SCO.
This is the first in-person SCO Summit after the Covid pandemic hit the world. The last in-person SCO Heads of State Summit was held in Bishkek in June 2019.
The SCO currently comprises eight Member States (China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan), four Observer States interested in acceding to full membership (Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran, and Mongolia) and six "Dialogue Partners" (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Turkey).
The Shanghai Five, formed in 1996, became the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in 2001 with the inclusion of Uzbekistan. With India and Pakistan entering the grouping in 2017 and the decision to admit Tehran as a full member in 2021, SCO became one of the largest multilateral organisations, accounting for nearly 30 per cent of the global GDP and 40 per cent of the world's population. (ANI)