India backs efforts to end war in Ukraine, Modi tells Zelenskyy

New Delhi has consistently refused to explicitly condemn Moscow’s invasion

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said India will continue to provide humanitarian assistance to Ukrainians affected by the war. AFP
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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has assured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of New Delhi’s support for peace efforts aimed at ending the war with Russia.

Mr Modi said India was committed to continue providing humanitarian assistance to Ukraine’s affected population.

“Prime Minister Modi strongly reiterated his call for an immediate cessation of hostilities and said that both sides should revert to dialogue and diplomacy to find a lasting solution to their differences,” India’s Foreign Ministry said.

Mr Modi and Mr Zelenskyy also discussed India’s G20 presidency during the phone call.

The Indian Prime Minister said New Delhi’s priorities included “giving a voice” to the concerns of developing nations on “issues like food and energy security”.

The G20 is an intergovernmental forum of the world’s major economies — 19 countries and the EU — that addresses major issues related to the global economy, financial stability, climate change mitigation and sustainable development.

India took over the annual presidency from Indonesia this month.

Mr Zelenskyy asked Mr Modi to put in place the “peace formula” that he proposed to the G20 summit in Indonesia last month.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addresses a joint meeting of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington on December 21. AP

The Ukrainian President presented a 10-point formula to end the war between Kyiv and Moscow that broke out in February.

The conflict has claimed more than 5,000 civilian lives and displaced hundreds of thousands of people in the eastern European country.

“I had a phone call with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and wished [India] a successful G20 presidency. It was on this platform that I announced the peace formula and now I count on India's participation in its implementation,” Mr Zelenskyy said on Twitter after the phone call.

Although India has consistently refused to explicitly condemn Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine and repeatedly abstained from voting on the western-backed resolutions at the UN, it has also repeated the need to engage in “dialogue and diplomacy” to end the war.

Updated: December 27, 2022, 6:06 AM
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