India willing to contribute in any way for peace in Ukraine, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tells Ukrainian President

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday expressed India’s willingness to contribute in any manner towards peace efforts and to defuse the Ukraine crisis.

Modi gave this assurance to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy during tele talks. “President Zelenskyy briefed the Prime Minister in detail about the ongoing conflict situation in Ukraine,” a PMO statement said. 

The Prime Minister expressed his “deep anguish about the loss of life and property” due to the ongoing conflict. “He reiterated his call for an immediate cessation of violence and a return to dialogue, and expressed India’s willingness to contribute in any way towards peace efforts,” the statement said.

The Prime Minister also conveyed India’s deep concern for the safety and security of Indian citizens, 
including students, present in Ukraine. He sought facilitation by Ukrainian authorities to expeditiously and safely evacuate Indian citizens, the release said.

Ukraine’s envoy to India Igor Polikha has said PM Modi is among the very few leaders whom Russian President Vladimir Putin listens to and so the Indian government should use proximity with Moscow to bring the situation in Ukraine under control.

All these typically underline India’s importance in the global context. US President Joe Biden has indicated that it wants New Delhi under Modi to play a part in defusing the ongoing conflict.

PM Modi has already spoken to Russian President Vladimir Putin and with him too, he underlined the need for comprehensive steps to end the violence. External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar too held phone conversations with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov and also Ukranian foreign minister and underlined that dialogue and diplomacy are the best way forward to deal with the crisis.

Meanwhile, Russia on Saturday applauded India’s stand at the UNSC during voting on the Ukraine crisis.

“Highly appreciate India’s independent and balanced position at the voting in the UNSC on February 25, 2022. In the spirit of the special and privileged strategic partnership Russia is committed to maintain close dialogue with India on the situation around Ukraine,” said a tweet from Russian embassy in India. 

Crucially from a global perspective, both China and India abstained. “….No solution can ever be arrived at the cost of human lives”, India’s Permanent Representative to the UN, T S Tirumurti said at the UNSC meeting on Ukraine late Friday night (Saturday wee hours).

Prime Minister Modi told Putin that there is a need for an immediate cessation of violence, and called for concerted efforts from all sides to return to the path of diplomatic negotiations and dialogue. 

On Friday late evening voting at UNSC on the Ukraine crisis, India abstained. “….No solution can ever be arrived at the cost of human lives”, India’s Permanent Representative to the UN, TS Tirumurti said at the UNSC meeting on Ukraine. “India is deeply disturbed by the recent turn of developments in Ukraine. We urge that all efforts are made for immediate cessation of violence and hostilities”.  

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