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Ukraine seeks India to play prominent role in peace deal and development of Kyiv post-Russia war: Kuleba

Kuleba arrived in New Delhi on Thursday for a two-day visit to boost bilateral ties and cooperation with India, which considers Russia a time-tested ally from the Cold War era. Besides, he emphasised his visit to the upcoming peace summit in Switzerland.

Edited By: Ajeet Kumar @Ajeet1994 New Delhi Published on: March 30, 2024 0:30 IST
Ukraine Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba with his Indian counterpart Dr S Jaishankar in New Delhi.
Image Source : PTI Ukraine Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba with his Indian counterpart Dr S Jaishankar in New Delhi.

New Delhi: The foreign ministers of India and Ukraine said on Friday they had agreed to restore trade and cooperation to levels before Russia's invasion, as Kyiv seeks to build support for its peace plan with an old friend of Moscow. Describing India and Ukraine as "two big friendly nations", Ukraine's Minister of Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba said he had "sincere and comprehensive" talks with his Indian counterpart on bilateral ties, and they "agreed to restore" the level of their cooperation that existed prior to the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Kuleba met at the Hyderabad House here as part of a bilateral engagement. "I'm glad to see that some of our bilateral mechanisms have also met. I think this has created a certain momentum in our bilateral relationship," said EAM Jaishankar.


Ukraine seeks India to focus on developmental projects post-war

The Ukrainian foreign minister's two-day visit to India comes amid efforts to seek a peaceful resolution to the more than two-year-old Russia-Ukraine conflict.

He arrived here on Thursday. In his opening remarks at the meeting, Kuleba said India and Ukraine have been "traditional friends, but I think there is much more that we can do, and should do, not only in the interest of our nations but also in the interest of global development and security architecture".

"We will be looking forward to restoring what had existed before the large-scale invasion of Russia in Ukraine began... existed between us. We will be looking forward to discussing new areas and projects of cooperation. Because I do believe that this relationship has a strategic perspective," the Ukrainian foreign minister said.

Kuleba urges India to play peacemaker role 

After the meeting, Kuleba said on X, "We paid specific attention to the Peace Formula". "In New Delhi, I had sincere and comprehensive talks with @DrSJaishankar about Ukrainian-Indian bilateral relations, the situation in our regions, and global security. We paid specific attention to the Peace Formula and the next steps on the path of its implementation," he said.

The peace formula proposed by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in 2022 follows 10 principles aimed at ensuring a just and lasting peace in Ukraine. "We also co-chaired the Ukrainian-Indian intergovernmental commission review meeting and agreed to restore the level of cooperation between our countries that existed prior to the full-scale war launched by Russia, as well as identify new promising projects to take our relations to the next level," the visiting Ukrainian foreign minister said in his post.

During the meeting, Kuleba said both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Volodymyr Zelenskyy have spoken in person and on the phone "a number of times, and they always instruct us foreign ministers to push this relationship forward". "We have a big work to do, and I am looking forward to delivering, so that we can report to our leaders, but also to the peoples of India and Ukraine, two big friendly nations," he said.

Kuleba appeals to India to consider the "red line" before engaging with Russia 

In newspaper interviews ahead of his talks, Kuleba said Ukraine was not against cooperation between India and Russia, but urged New Delhi to stand by Kyiv, saying India's close ties with Russia were based on a Soviet legacy that was evaporating. "Our job is to convey a simple message to New Delhi," he told the Times of India. "When you decide to engage with Russia, please know the red line for Ukraine is financing Russia's war machine." India had much to gain, he told the Financial Times, from expanding trade and technology ties with Ukraine, which was interested in importing heavy machinery.
Kuleba offered Indian companies a role in postwar reconstruction.

Notably, nearly a week before Kuleba's visit to New Delhi, PM Narendra Modi on March 20 held separate conversations with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Zelenskyy and asserted that dialogue and diplomacy were the way forward for the resolution of the Russia-Ukraine conflict. PM Modi had recently spoken to Putin over the telephone to congratulate him for winning a fifth term in office in the recent elections and followed it up with a phone call to Zelenskyy to convey India's "consistent support" for all efforts for peace and bringing an early end to the ongoing conflict.

Zelenskyy hails India's role 

During the telephone conversation, the Ukrainian president thanked India for its support for his country's sovereignty and said that it would be important for Kyiv to see New Delhi attend the inaugural Peace Summit in Switzerland.

Zelenskyy hailed India's continued humanitarian assistance for the people of Ukraine as the two leaders had discussed ways to further strengthen their bilateral partnership in various spheres. "Our position is very clear on peace initiatives and how we look at the Ukraine-Russia conflict. We continue to encourage the peaceful resolution of the conflict through dialogue and diplomacy and remain open to engaging all ways and means that would help achieve this objective," MEA Spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal on Thursday said in response to a query on India's position on the peace conference in Switzerland.

(With inputs from agencies)

Also Read: Ukraine Foreign Minister arrives in New Delhi, discussion on peace deal with Russia on top agenda


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