HIROSHIMA (JAPAN): Prime Minister Narendra Modi assured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Saturday that India is fully committed to doing “everything possible" to resolve the ongoing Ukraine crisis. The two leaders met on the sidelines of the G7 summit in Hiroshima, Japan, marking their first face-to-face talks since Russia’s invasion.
The prime minister said that the war in Ukraine is a “very big issue" for the whole world and that it has had many different impacts on the globe. “I wish to assure you that India and I, in my personal capacity, will do whatever is possible to find a solution to this (conflict)," Modi said in his opening remarks at the talks.
The prime minister termed the conflict not as a “political or economic issue" and said that for him, it is an “issue of humanity" and human values.
“PM Narendra Modi held talks with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky during the G-7 Summit in Hiroshima,” the Prime Minister’s Office said in a tweet.
In a tweet PM Modi said, “Conveyed our clear support for dialogue and diplomacy to find a way forward. We will continue extending humanitarian assistance to the people of Ukraine."
The Prime Minister also commended Ukraine for its cooperation in safely evacuating Indian students and expressed his appreciation for the decision made by Ukrainian institutions to conduct examinations for these students in India.
“You know more than any of us what is the suffering of war but when our students came back from Ukraine last year, the description of the circumstances they gave then, I could understand the pain felt by you and Ukrainian citizens," Modi said.
India evacuated thousands of students from Ukraine following the Russian invasion that began on February 24 last year.
Zelensky thanked PM Modi in a tweet and invited India to join the implementation of the “peace formula" initiative devised by Ukraine.
The Ukraine President arrived in Japan’s Hiroshima to attend the G7 Summit, marking the second multilateral summit he is attending this week. He addressed the Arab League on Friday.
“Important meetings with partners and friends of Ukraine. Security and enhanced cooperation for our victory. Peace will become closer today," Zelensky tweeted after reaching Japan.
The Ukrainian president, wearing his customary olive green fatigues, met PM Modi.
The photos shared showed National Security Advisor Ajit Doval also present at the meeting between PM Modi and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Photos shared by the Prime Minister of India’s office also showed both sides engaged in a meeting with both leaders being accompanied by a delegation of highly-placed officials.
Prime Minister Modi, ahead of meeting with Zelensky, said that India supports the path of dialogue and diplomacy to solve disputes. Speaking to Japanese news outlet, Yomiuri Shimbun, PM Modi said that India is ready to play any role to help bring peace in Ukraine. “India supports a peaceful resolution to the Ukraine crisis and is ready to contribute constructively within the UN and beyond,” he said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky over the phone to take stock of the situation in Ukraine on two occasions last year before meeting him in-person on Saturday.
During a phone call between PM Modi and Russian President Putin, India said that its stance on the Ukraine crisis will be that of a strategic ambivalence for now, ANI said in a report.
The step reflects a pragmatic approach in a complex geopolitical landscape and also showcases Delhi’s stance on issues related to territorial integrity, sovereignty, and its relationships with neighbouring nations, news agency ANI said in a report.
PM Modi attended one working session of the G7 summit earlier on Saturday. He held bilateral talks with French President Emmanuel Macron, Vietnam Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, South Korean President Yoon Suk-Yeol, Indonesian President Joko Widodo, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Japan Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.
He met US President Joe Biden briefly during the first working session and will meet Australian counterpart Anthony Albanese when he, Kishida, Biden and Albanese convene for the Quad Leadership Summit.