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After Putin, PM Modi speaks to Ukrainian President, Zelenskyy urges India to play peacemaker role

PM Modi also assured President Zelenskyy of strengthening the relations between India and Ukraine besides promising support for peace and bringing an early end to the ongoing conflict.

Written By: Ajeet Kumar @Ajeet1994 New Delhi Updated on: March 20, 2024 20:19 IST
PM Modi with Volodymyr Zelenskyy
Image Source : PMP/FILE PM Modi with Volodymyr Zelenskyy

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday spoke to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy over the phone and assured him of providing continued humanitarian support. PM Modi also assured him of strengthening the relations between India and Ukraine besides promising support for peace and bringing an early end to the ongoing conflict. 

"Had a good conversation with President @ZelenskyyUa on strengthening the India-Ukraine partnership. Conveyed India’s consistent support for all efforts for peace and bringing an early end to the ongoing conflict. India will continue to provide humanitarian assistance guided by our people-centric approach," PM Modi wrote on X.

"While discussing the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict, the PM reiterated India’s people-centric approach and called for dialogue and diplomacy as the way forward. He highlighted that India supports all efforts for an early and peaceful resolution of all issues between the Parties. He added that India would continue to do everything within its means to support a peaceful solution," according to the excerpts released by PMO.

Zelenskyy hopes India to play peace mediator role 

President Zelenskyy appreciated India’s continued humanitarian assistance to the people of Ukraine. Before concluding the conversations, the two leaders agreed to remain in touch. The conversation with both leaders engaged in war came days before the Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba is likely to visit New Delhi later this month.

According to the sources, the visit is in the process of being finalised and if everything goes according to plan, Kuleba will be in New Delhi by the end of March. The Ukranian foreign minister is set to hold wide-ranging talks with his Indian counterpart Dr S Jaishankar besides meeting a number of senior officials, they said. Kuleba is expected to seek India's support for a peace summit that is being planned in Switzerland within the next couple of months.

Later, President Zelenskyy also took to social media to elaborate on the details of the conversation. The Ukrainian President emphasised India's participation in the upcoming peace summit in Switzerland.  "I spoke with Prime Minister @NarendraModi  to express gratitude for India's support for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, humanitarian aid, and active participation in Peace Formula meetings.  It will be important for us to see India attend the inaugural Peace Summit, which is currently being prepared in Switzerland," Zelenskyy wrote in a social media post.

Although Zelenskyy did not directly name the visit of his foreign minister to Delhi, he confirmed the officials of the war-torn nation will discuss the matter in New Delhi in the near future. "We discussed the development of our bilateral relations, which should include a meeting of our teams and a session of the intergovernmental commission on cooperation in New Delhi in the near future," he said.

President Zelenskyy calls Indian students to return to Kyiv

Besides, the Ukrainian President extended hope for the return of Indian students in Kyiv. Notably, thousands of Indian students who were majorly pursuing medical degrees from various universities returned to India following Putin's announcement of war.

"Ukraine is interested in strengthening our trade and economic ties with India, particularly in agricultural exports, aviation cooperation, and pharmaceutical and industrial product trade.  Ukraine also wishes to welcome Indian students back to Ukrainian educational institutions," he added.

PM Modi also spoke to Putin earlier today

The conversation with Zelenskyy coincided with PM Modi's talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the same day. According to the statement released by the Prime Minister's Office (PMO), he also raised the issue of ongoing war with Ukraine during his conversation with Putin. It said the PM reiterated India’s consistent position in favour of dialogue and diplomacy as the way forward. 

"PM congratulated him on his re-election as the President of the Russian Federation and conveyed his best wishes for peace, progress and prosperity of the friendly people of Russia. The leaders also reviewed progress in various issues of bilateral cooperation and exchanged views on regional and global issues of mutual interest," according to the statement released by the Prime Minister's office.

While discussing the Russia-Ukraine conflict, PM Modi reiterated India’s consistent position in favour of dialogue and diplomacy as the way forward.

 India's stance on Russia-Ukraine war

India has been maintaining that the conflict in Ukraine must be resolved through dialogue and diplomacy. Last year, when PM Modi held in-person talks with Zelenskyy on the sidelines of the G7 summit in Hiroshima, he conveyed to the Ukranian leader that India would do whatever was possible to find a solution to the conflict.

Earlier on Monday, when the Indian Prime Minister congratulated Russian President Vladimir Putin for resecuring next term as President, the social media post was not greeted by the Ukrainian leader. Both Kyiv and West denounced the Russian Presidential election and dubbed it "unfair" and "rigged".

Also Read: PM Modi dials Vladimir Putin, congratulates him on his re-election as Russian President

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