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Modi gives Zelenskyy a listening ear

Updated on: 21 May,2023 08:32 AM IST  |  Hiroshima
Agencies |

The Ukrainian President met PM Narendra Modi on sidelines of the G7 summit that is being held in Hiroshima

Modi gives Zelenskyy a listening ear

Zelenskyy sits across the table from PM Modi as he tried to negotiate help for the conflict in Ukraine. Pic/PTI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Saturday held bilateral talks here, in their first in-person meeting after the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February last year. The meeting on the sidelines of the G7 summit in Hiroshima came a day after leaders of the powerful grouping unveiled new sanctions on Moscow for continuing its war in Ukraine.

“PM Narendra Modi held talks with President Zelenskyy during the G-7 Summit in Hiroshima,” the Prime Minister’s office tweeted. It is not immediately known what transpired in the talks. However, it is widely believed that Zelenskyy sought India’s support for Ukraine in its fight against Russia.

The Ukrainian president has been trying to drum up support from key countries around the world as Ukrainian forces are reportedly preparing for a major counter offensive against Russia. The Modi-Zelenskyy meeting took place over a month after Ukrainian First Deputy Foreign Minister Emine Dzhaparova visited India.

During her visit, Dzhaparova handed over a letter to the Minister of State for External Affairs Meenakshi Lekhi. The letter was written to Prime Minister Modi by President Zelenskyy. Since the Ukraine conflict began in February last year, Prime Minister Modi spoke to Russian President Vladimir Putin as well as Ukrainian leader Zelenskyy a number of times.

Also Read: IN PHOTOS: US Prez Biden, UK PM Sunak arrive in Japan for G7 Summit 2023

In a phone conversation with President Zelenskyy on October 4 last year, Modi said that there can be “no military solution” and that India is ready to contribute to any peace efforts. At a bilateral meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Uzbekistan on September 16 last year in the Uzbek city of Samarkand, Modi said, “Today’s era is not of war” and nudged the Russian leader to end the conflict.

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. In New Delhi, Dzhaparova said that India is a global leader and can help in addressing key global challenges and promoting peace, including in her country.

The Prime Minister arrived in Hiroshima on Friday to attend the annual summit of the G7 grouping in the first leg of his three-nation tour that will also take him to Papua New Guinea and Australia. The Ukrainian President is also attending the G7 summit following an invitation by Japan, the current chair of the powerful grouping. The group of seven, comprising the US, France, the UK, Italy, Germany, Canada and Japan, represent the world’s richest democracies.

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