Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared his country's staunch support of Syrian sovereignty and an end to the civil war in the country during a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Thursday. The two leaders met to discuss the growing relationship between India and Russia, their status as BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) nations, and the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Russian news agency Tass reported.
"It is important Russia and India make similar approaches to key international problems. Our countries are for a political settlement of the conflict in Syria and promotion of national reconciliation in Afghanistan," Putin told the media after talks with Modi. "We are certain that it is in the interests of the world community to form a wide antiterrorist coalition operating on the basis of international law and under the auspices of the United Nations.”
Putin and Modi expressed concern and support for the people and government in Iraq, calling for national reconciliation among warring factions and for an inclusive state system. While Russia is bombing the Islamic State group in Syria, it has not been given permission by Baghdad to do the same in Iraq.
— Vladimir Putin (@PutinRF_Eng) December 24, 2015
India and Russia have enjoyed a strong political relationship in recent years, with New Delhi buying billions of dollars in weapons from Moscow. India sent a delegation to Russia last week to discuss the possibility of buying Moscow's advanced S-400 missile defense system, attack helicopters and frigates in a $7 billion deal. India is also involved in design and production of Russia’s new T-50 stealth fighter, but has not yet committed to the $10 billion deal.
Given India’s growth to become one of the world’s largest economies and its growing military strength, Putin supported the nuclear power's quest for a permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council.
"We believe that India is a great power that conducts a balanced and responsible foreign policy and is one of the most worthy candidates for taking the seat of a permanent member on the U.N. Security Council," Putin said. He recalled that Moscow had "strongly supported” India’s accession to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the two countries were cooperating within the BRICS group, where India will take the rotating presidency in February 2016.