On the sidelines of the G7 summit in Japan’s Hiroshima, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. This is the first in-person meeting between the two leaders since the beginning of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February of last year. They have earlier only spoken virtually.
The meeting, which also included Ajit Doval, India’s national security advisor, was caught on camera by the Prime Minister’s Office and shared on social media. As part of his three-nation trip, which will also take him to Papua New Guinea and Australia, PM Modi departed for the Japanese city this morning in order to attend three sessions of the G7 summit.
The summit is being attended by the president of Ukraine, due to an invitation from Japan, the group’s current chair.
Ukraine’s First Deputy Foreign Minister Emine Dzhaparova visited India last month, in the first high-level trip to India from Ukraine after the conflict began. Meenakshi Lekhi, the minister of state for external affairs, received a letter from President Zelenskyy to PM Modi during Dzhaparova’s visit.
The situation between Russia and Ukraine can only be addressed via negotiation and diplomacy, according to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who also stated that “India is ready to contribute to any peace efforts.”
Earlier today, when asked about his view on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, how India responds to criticism over its abstention from voting on UN resolutions, and its increased reliance on Russian oil imports, Prime Minister Modi said India supports dialogue and diplomacy to settle disputes and prioritises the well-being of those affected by rising prices for basic necessities.
“India abstained from UN General Assembly resolutions to condemn the invasion but remains committed to upholding the UN Charter, international law, sovereignty, and territorial integrity. India supports a peaceful resolution to the Ukraine crisis and is ready to contribute constructively within the UN and beyond,” the prime minister said.
PM Modi stated that there can be “no military solution” and that India is prepared to support any peace efforts in a phone discourse with President Zelenskyy on October 4 of last year. Since the commencement of the conflict, the prime minister has also had numerous conversations with Russian President Vladimir Putin.