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Putin Awards Russia’s Highest Civilian Honor to Visiting Indian PM Narendra Modi

HeadlineJul 10, 2024

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has wrapped up a two-day visit to Moscow, where he met with Russian President Vladimir Putin. It was Modi’s first visit to Russia since Putin’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine. Modi has so far refused to condemn Russia’s actions and has abstained from U.N. votes denouncing the invasion. India remains the second-largest purchaser of Russian oil, after China. After the talks, Modi offered limited criticism of Putin’s attacks on Ukraine.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi: “When it is war, conflict or a terrorist attack, any person who believes in humanity feels pain when they see death, especially when innocent children are killed. The sight of innocent children dying shatters your heart, and that pain is very terrifying. I had a detailed discussion on this issue with you.”

On Tuesday, Putin awarded Modi the Order of Saint Andrew the Apostle, Russia’s highest civilian award. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky blasted Modi for his literal embrace of Putin. On social media, Zelensky wrote, “It is a huge disappointment and a devastating blow to peace efforts to see the leader of the world’s largest democracy hug the world’s most bloody criminal in Moscow on such a day.”

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