- PM Modi called for early cessation of violence in Ukraine
- Modi expressed India's readiness to contribute to peace efforts to resolve the conflict
- Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov said India can play mediator between Moscow and Kyiv
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday called for early cessation of violence in Ukraine and expressed India's readiness to contribute to the peace efforts to resolve the conflict, during a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. According to a statement by the Prime Minister's Office (PMO), the visiting Russian Foreign briefed Modi on the situation in Ukraine, including Moscow's ongoing peace negotiations with Kyiv. Lavrov called on the Prime Minister after holding wide-ranging talks with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar.
"Foreign Minister Lavrov briefed the Prime Minister on the situation in Ukraine, including the ongoing peace negotiations," the statement said. "The Prime Minister reiterated his call for an early cessation of violence, and conveyed India's readiness to contribute in any way to the peace efforts," it said. It said the Russian Foreign Minister also updated Modi on the progress of decisions taken during the India-Russia bilateral summit held in December last year.
On Thursday evening, Lavrov arrived in New Delhi after concluding a two-day visit to China. Unlike many other leading powers, India has not yet criticised Russia for its invasion of Ukraine and it abstained from the votes at the UN platforms in condemning the Russian aggression. However, last Thursday, India abstained on a resolution pushed by Russia on the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, which was seen as reflective of its neutral position on the conflict.
India has been pressing for the resolution of the crisis through diplomacy and dialogue. Modi has held phone conversations with Russian President Vladimir Putin on February 24, March 2 and March 7. Modi had also spoken to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy twice. Last week, Jaishankar said in Parliament that India's position on the Ukraine conflict has been "steadfast and consistent" and that it has been seeking immediate cessation of violence.