(File photo) Russian President Vladimir Putin (left) and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi Photograph:( Agencies )
The conversation came hours after Ukraine “pleaded” for India’s intervention
During a call with Vladimir Putin on Thursday, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged Russia to halt military action against Ukraine and stressed on taking a diplomatic route to resolve the standoff.
"(The) Prime Minister appealed for an immediate cessation of violence, and called for concerted efforts from all sides to return to the path of diplomatic negotiations and dialogue," the government said in a statement.
The conversation came hours after Ukraine “pleaded” for India’s intervention.
During the brief talk, Modi conveyed to Putin to consider “India's concerns regarding the safety of the Indian citizens in Ukraine, especially students”, and said that India attaches the highest priority to their safe exit.
The statement further said that Putin briefed Modi on the recent developments in Ukraine.
“Prime Minister reiterated his long-standing conviction that the differences between Russia and the NATO group can only be resolved through honest and sincere dialogue. Prime Minister appealed for an immediate cessation of violence, and called for concerted efforts from all sides to return to the path of diplomatic negotiations and dialogue,” it added.
The leaders agreed that their officials and diplomatic teams would continue to maintain regular contacts on issues of topical interest.
Earlier on Thursday, Russia launched a wide-ranging military attack on Ukraine and targeted its multiple cities with missiles and tanks.
At least 68 people, including soldiers and civilians, were killed, according to AFP which cited various Ukrainian official sources.
The Russian Defence Ministry said it destroyed 74 above-ground military infrastructure facilities in Ukraine, including 11 aerodromes.
Ukraine said Russia had carried out 203 attacks since the day began.
(With inputs from agencies)