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Russia to Release Indian Nationals Recruited for Ukraine War After Modi’s Visit – FM

Indian PM Narendra Modi and Vladimir Putin. kremlin.ru

Recast with Indian foreign minister's comments.

Russia has agreed to discharge Indian nationals from its military after Prime Minister Narendra Modi raised the issue with President Vladimir Putin during his visit to Moscow this week, India's foreign minister said Tuesday.

Modi had "strongly raised the issue of early discharge of Indian nationals who have been misled into the service of the Russian army" with Putin, Vinay Kwatra told reporters on the meeting's sidelines.

"This was taken up strongly by the prime minister and the Russian side promised early discharge," the Asian nation's top diplomat said.

While Kwatra said he did not know exactly how many Indian nationals had been recruited to fight in Moscow's offensive, India "anticipates it to be roughly 35-50."

Of those, 10 have already been brought back to India, he added.

The foreign minister said India and Russia will now "work on it and see how exactly, and how expeditiously, we can get them back into the country."

Indian broadcaster NDTV had earlier reported, citing anonymous sources, that Moscow “agreed to discharge all Indians serving in their army and facilitate their return” following Modi's private dinner with Putin on Monday night.

At least two Indian citizens fighting as soldiers in Russia's Armed Forces have been killed in the war in Ukraine, while dozens stuck in the war zone claim they were tricked into fighting by agents promising them high-paying jobs.

New Delhi said in February it was pressing Moscow to return several of its citizens who had signed up for "support jobs" with the Russian military.

The Indian government said in March it had raised the issue with Russia and taken “strong action” against “unscrupulous” recruiters, NDTV wrote. 

The Kremlin said it would not comment on NDTV's report.

Modi's two-day visit to Moscow is his first trip to Russia since the country launched its invasion of Ukraine in early 2022.

AFP contributed reporting.

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