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Ukraine crisis: Modi speaks to Putin over phone

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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi tonight spoke to Russian President Vladimir Putin over phone and called for an immediate cessation of violence between Russia and Ukraine.

During their phone call, Modi also appealed for "concerted efforts from all sides to return to the path of diplomatic negotiations and dialogue," the Indian Prime Minister's Office (PMO) said in a statement.

The Indian prime minister also sensitised the Russian president about India's concerns regarding the safety of Indian citizens in Ukraine, especially students, and conveyed that India attaches the highest priority to their safe exit and return to India, reports our New Delhi correspondent.

"President Putin briefed the prime minister (Modi) about the recent developments regarding Ukraine," the statement said.

Modi reiterated his long-standing conviction that the differences between Russia and NATO can only be resolved through honest and sincere dialogue.

The two leaders "agreed that their officials and diplomatic teams would continue to maintain regular contacts on issues of topical interest"

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