Zelenskiy invites India PM Modi to join Ukraine's peace formula

Modi told Zelenskiy he was keen to help and that for him the war was an issue of humanity and human values

REUTERS May 21, 2023
Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi attend a meeting during the G7 leaders' summit in Hiroshima, Japan May 20, 2023. Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Handout. PHOTO: REUTERS


President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said he had invited India to join Ukraine's peace formula during his talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the Group of Seven (G7) summit on Saturday in Japan.

Zelenskiy said on the Telegram messaging app that the two had also discussed Ukraine's needs in mobile hospitals and removing land mines during their first face-to-face meeting since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022.

Modi told Zelenskiy he was keen to help and that for him the war was an issue of humanity and human values.

"I assure you that for its resolution India, and I personally will do everything within our means," he said.

New Delhi and Moscow have enjoyed a close relationship for decades, and India has refused to condemn Russia for the war in Ukraine. In fact, its trade with Moscow has risen to a record high, driven largely by India ramping up imports of Russian oil.

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Several Western leaders have criticised India's close ties with Russia as they try to isolate Moscow.

India's fuel purchases from Russia were not discussed in Saturday's meeting, India's foreign secretary, Vinay Kwatra, told reporters after the meeting between the two leaders.

New Delhi says it is defending its own interests in buying Russian oil. It has also expressed frustration at what it says is the world's preoccupation with the war in Ukraine when urgent action is needed to address global debt and poverty.

Zelenskiy invited Modi to visit Ukraine during the meeting, Kwatra said.

Modi has spoken to both Russian President Vladimir Putin and Zelenskiy by phone several times since Russia invaded its neighbour, urging both to use dialogue and diplomacy to resolve their differences.


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