Wednesday, Nov 30, 2022

India Ready To Contribute To Ukraine Peace Efforts In Any Way, PM Modi Tells Russian Foreign Minister

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov briefed Modi on the situation in Ukraine, including the ongoing peace negotiations with Ukraine.

Narendra Modi and Sergey Lavrov
Narendra Modi and Sergey Lavrov MFA Russia on Twitter

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday told Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov that India is ready to contribute in any way to the peace efforts to resolve the conflict in Ukraine. 

Modi reiterated his call for early cessation of hostilities between Russia and Ukraine during his meeting with Lavrov who arrived in India on a two-day visit on Thursday. Earlier on Friday, Lavrov held wide-ranging talks with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar.

Lavrov briefed Modi on the situation in Ukraine, including the ongoing peace negotiations with Ukraine, according to a statement from the Prime Minister's Office.

Before meeting Modi, Lavrov told reporters that India, with its "just and rational" approach towards international problems, can support the peace efforts if it chooses to play such a role. 

On Wednesday, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba told NDTV that India can use its influence with Russia to convince it to stop the war in Ukraine.

Asked if he sees Prime Minister Modi being a possible mediator between Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelinskyy and Russian President Vladimir Putin, Kuleba said "if Prime Minister Modi is willing to play that role, we would welcome his efforts".

Since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Modi has held three telephonic conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin and two with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. In his conversations with Putin, Modi suggested direct dialogue with Zelenskyy to work towards ending the ongoing conflict. 

While India has not outright condemned Russia like Quad partners, the government has repeatedly stressed on cessation of hostilities and talks as the way forward. 

In a statement on the Lavrov-Jaishankar talks, the Ministry of External Affairs said the two sides discussed developments pertaining to Ukraine.

The MEA said Jaishankar underlined that as a developing economy, global volatility in different domains is of particular concern to India.

"It is important for both countries that their economic, technological and people to people contacts remain stable and predictable," it said.

"The external affairs minister emphasised the importance of cessation of violence and ending hostilities. Differences and disputes should be resolved through dialogue and diplomacy and by respect for international law, UN Charter, sovereignty and territorial integrity of states," it said.

Hours before the Russian foreign minister landed in India, US Deputy National Security Adviser Daleep Singh cautioned that there will be consequences for countries actively attempting to "circumvent or backfill" American sanctions against Moscow.

Last week, Jaishankar said in Parliament that India's position on the Ukraine conflict has been "steadfast and consistent" and that it has been seeking immediate cessation of violence.

With PTI inputs