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regular-article-logo Tuesday, 23 July 2024

Volodymyr Zelensky invites Modi to Kyiv, urges PM to ‘join the implementation’ of peace formula

The two leaders met on Saturday on the sidelines of the G7 Summit in Hiroshima

Anita Joshua New Delhi Published 21.05.23, 05:46 AM
(Left) Volodymyr Zelensky and Prime Minister Narendra Modi

(Left) Volodymyr Zelensky and Prime Minister Narendra Modi File Photo

Volodymyr Zelensky has invited Narendra Modi to visit Kyiv and urged the Indian Prime Minister to “join the implementation” of the Ukrainian President’s peace formula.

The two leaders met on Saturday on the sidelines of the G7 Summit in Hiroshima — the first time the two were meeting since the conflict between Russia and Ukraine began in February 2022.

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Zelensky’s peace formula includes the restoration of Ukraine’s borders with Russia, the withdrawal of Russian troops and price restrictions on Russia’s energy resources.

While Russia has rejected the formula outright, even Zelensky’s allies in the West have been non-committal. India has not commented. Zelensky had made a similar pitch in December when he spoke to Modi over the phone.

The Indian readout on the meeting made no mention of Zelensky seeking India’s support for his peace plan or the invitation to visit the Ukrainian capital as some world leaders, including the US President, have already done.

That Zelensky invited Modi to visit Kyiv was confirmed by foreign secretary Vinay Kumar Kwatra while briefing the media in Hiroshima on the day’s meetings.

According to the foreign ministry’s readout on the meeting with Zelensky, the Prime Minister spoke at length on how the conflict had had a significant impact on the whole world. He underscored India’s support for dialogue and diplomacy to find a way forward.

Since this was the first time he was meeting Zelenskyin person, Modi thanked him for cooperation in the safe evacuation of Indian students last year and welcomed Ukrainian institutions’ decision to hold exams in India for them.

According to the Ukrainian President’s office, Zelensky thanked India for supporting his country’s territorial integrity and sovereignty on the platforms of international organisations. He dwelt on the suffering of the Ukrainian people, summing it up as “deported children, mined territories, destroyed cities, destroyed destinies”.

Zelensky also spoke about requirements relating to humanitarian demining and mobile hospitals. Modi said India would continue to provide humanitarian assistance but there was no reference to the specific points flagged by the Ukrainian President.

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