Putin to the West: "Attempts To Turn India Away Is Pointless"

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the Indian government was acting independently in the interests of its citizens and any efforts by the West to create a rift between Moscow and New Delhi are pointless.

"The West is trying to create an enemy out of everyone who does not agree with their monopoly, everyone is at risk - even India, but the Indian leadership is acting independently in the interests on its nation," Putin said at a keynote address in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi.

"Attempts to turn India away from Russia are pointless, India is an independent state," he added.

His remarks come amid Indian refiners drawing criticism for snapping up discounted Russian oil after Western nations imposed sanctions on the country. The US and European Union stopped buying oil from Russia following its invasion of Ukraine in February last year.

Heaping praise on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Putin said that India is growing stronger and stronger under his leadership.

"India has more than 1.5 billion of population, more than 7 per cent of economic growth...that's a powerful country, mighty country. And it's growing stronger and stronger under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi," Putin said.

He also said that India, like Russia, has no borders as Indians are making their mark in almost all parts of the globe.

Putin has rarely left Russia since launching a full-scale offensive against Ukraine in February 2022. He recently skipped the BRICS gathering in South Africa and the G20 Summit in New Delhi. Explaining his reasons, Putin said that he skipped the meets as he did not want to cause a "political show".

The Russian leader is the target of an International Criminal Court arrest warrant -- a provision that South Africa as an ICC member would be expected to implement if he were to set foot in the country.

"Why should I create some problems for our friends during an event?" Putin said.

In March, the ICC issued an arrest warrant for Putin over his decision to send troops to Ukraine last year and over the illegal deportation of children to Russia. Moscow has branded the arrest warrant "illegal".

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