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regular-article-logo Wednesday, 17 July 2024

Narendra Modi unlikely for Ukraine peace summit even after invite from Volodymyr Zelensky

'India will be participating in the peace summit at an appropriate level', says foreign secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra

Our Special Correspondent New Delhi Published 13.06.24, 05:30 AM
Volodymyr Zelensky speaks during a visit to a military training area in Germany on Tuesday

Volodymyr Zelensky speaks during a visit to a military training area in Germany on Tuesday Reuters

Three days ahead of the Ukraine peace summit in Switzerland this weekend, India is yet to decide who will represent Delhi at the two-day meeting, for which Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has personally invited Prime Minister Narendra Modi more than once.

“India will be participating in the peace summit at an appropriate level. That consideration is currently going on in the system and as and when we have a decision on the representative from India who will be participating, we will be happy to share,” said foreign secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra to questions on who will represent the nation at the inaugural summit.

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In the run-up to the summit, Russia indicated that it views participation in this process as an attempt by Ukraine and the West to recruit “new members into the anti-Russian camp”.

About 90 nations and organisations have confirmed participation in the summit, the Associated Press reported from Obburgen in Switzerland on Monday.

Russia and China are not among them and the US delegation is to be led by Vice-President Kamala Harris. Modi will be in Italy this week for the G-7 summit as an invitee to the outreach session but there is no clarity on whether this visit will extend to Switzerland.

Asked if Russia’s position on the peace summit is a factor for India in deciding the level of participation, Kwatra refused to be buttonholed into giving a specific reply, maintaining: “There are many variables that go into consideration while formulating a decision on this. We shall let you know once the level of our participation at this summit is finalised.”

Zelensky has personally reached out to Modi twice in the past few months to attend the summit. “It will be important for us to see India attend the inaugural peace summit, which is currently being prepared in Switzerland,” Zelensky said in a detailed post on X after a telephonic conversation with Modi in March.

The Ukraine President echoed the same last week when he called Modi to congratulate him on his election. “We discussed the upcoming global peace summit. We rely on India’s participation at the highest level,’’ Zelensky posted on X.

The summit is a follow-up action on the Peace Formula that Zelensky unveiled in 2022 at the G20 summit in Indonesia as a way out of the conflict with Russia. India’s deputy national security adviser Vikram Misri has attended at least two meetings under the Copenhagen format to push Zelensky’s proposal of a peace summit to end the Russia-Ukraine conflict that is into its third year now.

Russia’s foreign minister Sergey Lavrov this week described the summit as “empty and worthless”.

He added that in September 2022, Zelenskky had signed a decree banning all Ukrainian officials from holding any talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s government. In early May 2024, the Ukrainian foreign ministry came out with an official statement saying that Ukraine does not recognise Putin as a democratically elected
legitimate president.

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