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  4. G7 Summit 2024: PM Modi shares a hug with Zelenskyy as talks on Russia-Ukraine war continue | WATCH

G7 Summit 2024: PM Modi shares a hug with Zelenskyy as talks on Russia-Ukraine war continue | WATCH

Ukraine has pushed India to join the upcoming peace summit in Switzerland in order to halt the Russian offensive. However, PM Modi has not given any indications that he would join the peace talks, and he has constantly advocated dialogue and diplomacy to resolve the conflict.

Edited By: Aveek Banerjee @AveekABanerjee Rome Updated on: June 14, 2024 19:52 IST
PM Modi shares a hug with Ukrainian President Volodymyr
Image Source : NARENDRA MODI (YOUTUBE) PM Modi shares a hug with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy ahead of their bilateral meeting in Italy.

G7 Summit 2024: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday met Volodymyr Zelenskyy on the sidelines of the G7 Summit 2024, after meeting with his British counterpart Rishi Sunak and French President Emmanuel Macron. The meeting is important as Zelenskky has pushed India to join the upcoming peace summit in Switzerland in order to halt the Russian offensive.

Zelenskyy reportedly briefed PM Modi on various aspects of the Russia-Ukraine conflict. The two leaders had met on the sidelines of the previous G7 summit in Hiroshima in May last year as well. PM Modi said India is eager to further cement bilateral relations with Ukraine after his 'productive' meeting with Zelenskyy.

In the meeting, PM Modi told Zelenskyy that India believes in a "human-centric" approach. The two leaders exchanged views on the situation in Ukraine and the upcoming Summit on Peace being hosted by Switzerland. The Ukrainian president said he and Modi talked about the Peace Summit and issues on its agenda and that he thanked the Indian prime minister for sending a high-level delegation to it.

 

"PM conveyed that India continues to encourage peaceful resolution of the conflict through dialogue and diplomacy, and reiterated that India would continue to do everything within its means to support a peaceful solution," said the Ministry of External Affairs.

India has constantly advocated that the best option to resolve the Ukraine conflict is dialogue and diplomacy. On several occasions, Zelenskyy pressed PM Modi to attend the peace summit, but Foreign Secretary VinayKwatra did not clarify whether the Indian PM would join. In fact, in the last press briefing, the Indian diplomat said: "Will be happy to share information (on PM's attendance at peace summit)".

The Group of Seven, dubbed the G7 Summit, kicked off on Thursday, with host Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, world leader US President Joe Biden, UK PM Rishi Sunak, and others in full attendance at a luxurious resort in Borgo Egnazia. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who received the invitation for the grand event by his Italian counterpart, Meloni, reached on Friday morning with a high-level delegation. This was PM Modi's first overseas trip in his 'historic' third term.

Deliberations on Russia-Ukraine war

The high-profile summit opened on Thursday with agreement reached on a US proposal to back a $50 billion loan to Ukraine using frozen Russian assets as collateral, giving Kyiv a strong show of support despite European politics undergoing a massive shift. Beyond discussing Ukraine, the war in Gaza and China's industrial policy, Pope Francis will become the first pope to address a G7 summit, adding a dash of celebrity and moral authority to the annual gathering.

The US proposal involves engineering a $50 billion loan to help Ukraine in its fight against Russia that would use interest earned on profits from Russia's frozen central bank assets, most of them held in the European Union, as collateral. “It is a strong signal that we are sending to Ukraine that we will support Ukraine in its fight for freedom for as long as it takes," said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. "It is also a strong signal to (Russian President Vladimir) Putin that Putin cannot outlast us,” she said.

Sunak, for his part, announced up to 242 million pounds ($310 million) in nonmilitary aid to Ukraine and a new round of sanctions against suppliers of munitions and other aid to Russia's military located in China, Israel, Kyrgyzstan and Turkiye. Washington also sent strong signals of support, with widened sanctions against Russia to target Chinese companies that are helping its war machine.

Peace talks in Switzerland

Meanwhile, Switzerland will host scores of world leaders this weekend to try to map out first steps toward peace in Ukraine even though Russia, which launched the ongoing war, won't take part. The Swiss insist Russia must be involved at some point, and hope it will join the process one day. Ukrainians, too, are considering that possibility.

The conference, underpinned by elements of a 10-point peace formula presented by Zelenskyy in late 2022, is unlikely to produce major results and is seen as a largely symbolic effort on the part of Kyiv to rally the international community and project strength against its better-armed and numbered adversary. Meanwhile, Putin on Friday promised to “immediately” order a cease-fire in Ukraine and begin negotiations if Kyiv started withdrawing troops from the four occupied Ukrainian regions and renounced plans to join NATO.

India has long-standing ties with Russia and the erstwhile Soviet Union, and PM Modi and Putin are known to share a friendly bond, leading to uncertainty over the Indian prime minister's presence in the peace talks. PM Modi had earlier told Putin that "this is not an era of war" after Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.

(with inputs from agencies)

ALSO READ | PM Modi holds bilateral talks with Rishi Sunak on sidelines of G7 Summit 2024 | WATCH

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