Russia’s President Vladimir Putin heaped praise on Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and backed India’s inclusion in a reformed United Nations Security Council, in a grievance-filled speech at an annual discussion forum.
Putin’s comments come as the war in Ukraine remains stalemated and the Russian leader casts the conflict as a struggle against Western hegemony and dominance.
International laws must be amended in line with the “requirements and demands of today and in accordance with the changes in the situation in the world,” Putin said, adding that he believes countries like Brazil, India and South Africa deserve greater representation at the U.N.
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With a population of 1.5 billion people, and strong economic growth, India “is a giant in the world,” Putin said, adding India’s high-tech exports are growing exponentially, and the country is getting stronger each year under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Putin also said that the West was “flirting” with India and trying to draw it into its orbit but praised the Modi government for continuing to act independently.
India and Russia maintain close ties despite pressure from the West. India continues to buy record quantities of Russian oil, at steep discounts and has long relied on Russian weapons for its military. India has abstained from all U.N General Assembly votes denouncing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
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India has lobbied for a permanent seat in the UNSC for decades. Russia’s diplomatic ally China is strongly opposed to the proposal. The UNSC has five permanent members — China, France, the Russian Federation, the UK and the U.S., and 10 non-permanent members elected for two-year terms.
India’s two-year term as a non-permanent member of the Security Council ended in 2022.