External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Saturday held a meeting with his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba in Phnom Penh along the sidelines of the ASEAN-India Summit and both the leaders discussed recent developments in the region, nuclear concerns and ways to end Russia’s war on Ukraine.
Jaishankar's meeting with Kuleba came days after he went on a two-day visit to Russia amid growing global concerns over increasing hostilities between Russia and Ukraine. That marked Jaishankar's first visit to Moscow after Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine in February.
Ukraine Foreign Dmytro Kuleba took to Twitter and said that he discussed bilateral cooperation and ways to end Russia’s war on Ukraine.
My Indian counterpart @DrSJaishankar and I met to discuss bilateral cooperation and ways to end Russia’s war on Ukraine. I emphasized that Russia must immediately cease deadly attacks, withdraw all troops from Ukraine, and commit to peace. We also focused on global food security. pic.twitter.com/50ApFBrz7i— Dmytro Kuleba (@DmytroKuleba) November 12, 2022
India’s stance on he nine-month-long war in Ukraine
India has not yet condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine and it has been maintaining that the crisis must be resolved through diplomacy and dialogue.
Since the Ukraine conflict began in February, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Russian President Vladimir Putin as well as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy a number of times.
During their bilateral meeting in October on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation in the Uzbek city of Samarkand, Modi pressed Putin to end the conflict in Ukraine soon, saying "today's era is not of war" even as he called for finding ways to address the global food and energy security crisis.
In a phone conversation with Zelenskyy on October 4, Modi said there can be "no military solution" and that India is ready to contribute to any peace efforts.
Pleasure to meet FM @DmytroKuleba of Ukraine.— Dr. S. Jaishankar (@DrSJaishankar) November 12, 2022
Our discussions covered recent developments in the conflict, the grain initiative and nuclear concerns. pic.twitter.com/dPIjKfhBIh
Global food and energy security under threat
India has also said the suspension of the Black Sea Grain initiative is expected to further exacerbate food security, and fuel and fertilizer supply challenges faced by the world, particularly in the global South.
Russia suspended the initiative after an attack on its ships in the Ukrainian port of Sevastopol in the Crimean peninsula.
The Black Sea Grain Initiative is the agreement on the resumption of Ukrainian grain exports via the Black Sea amid the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war. The initiative resulted in the export of more than nine million tonnes of grains and other food products out of Ukraine.
Jaishankar’s visit to Moscow
During his visit to Moscow from November 7 to 8, Jaishankar held wide-ranging talks with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov and Deputy Prime Minister Denis Manturov.
On the Ukraine conflict, Jaishankar referred to Prime Minister Modi's message to President Putin in September and underlined that the global economy is simply too inter-dependent for a significant conflict anywhere, not to have major consequences elsewhere.
"We are seeing growing concerns on energy and food security from the conflict that are coming on top of severe stresses created by two years of Covid. The Global South, especially, is feeling this pain very acutely," Jaishankar said in Moscow. "India, therefore, strongly advocates a return to dialogue and diplomacy. We are clearly on the side of peace, respect for international law and support for the UN Charter," he added.
Jaishankar is accompanying Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar who is leading the Indian delegation to the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit and the 17th East Asia Summit in the Cambodian capital.
(With inputs from PTI)