BENAULIM (GOA): India received Russian President Vladimir Putin’s strong backing against Pakistan-sponsored cross-border terrorism but had to resort to some straight talking with China, with PM Narendra Modi telling Chinese President Xi Jinping that the two nations could not afford to differ on terror. Putin backed India’s “post-Uri” actions while Modi hailed India-Russia ties saying, “An old friend is better than two new friends.” The Russian proverb underlined Modi’s appreciation of Putin’s support for India’s surgical strikes despite a recent military exercise by Russia in Pakistan crossing the red line in Indian perceptions. But while the unease over Russian troops on Pakistani soil after the Uri attack was assuaged by major defence and energy deals worth $24 billion, China proved a tougher proposition and foreign ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup chose his words carefully in describing Modi’s more challenging interaction with Xi. “Both India and China are victims of terrorism and the region is suffering from the menace. The Prime Minister said no country is immune to terrorism and on this issue, we cannot afford to have any differences,” Swarup said. Modi and Xi agreed that terrorism was a major scourge and China condemned all forms of terror but there was no indication that China had agreed to drop its resistance to Pakistan-based terror mastermind Maulana Masood Azhar being sanctioned by the UN security council. “We expect China will see logic in it,” the Indian spokesperson said. The Indian prime minister’s emphasis on no country being immune from terrorism and the need for India and China to increase cooperation to deal with terror was another attempt to get China to see India’s point of view on Azhar, who runs the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) with the Pakistan military’s backing and plans terrorist attacks in India. China’s opposition to India’s position on Azhar runs contrary to the tough stand it has taken against Islamic terrorism in its Xinjiang province. The other bugbear in India-China ties — India’s application to the Nuclear Suppliers Group — also came up with Indian side appearing to be more satisfied with Xi informing that the second round of dialogue would be held soon. “This shows there is dialogue, a good strategic dialogue,” said Swarup even as he avoided a direct comment on China’s opposition to India’s NSG membership bid. The silver lining was trade where Xi said one way of reducing India’s adverse trade deficit was to get more investment in India. The Chinese president said China’s firms are interested in investing in India, India’s ambassador to China, Vijay Gokhale, said.