In his first face-to-face meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has offered to help end the war.
The meeting between Indian Prime Minister Modi and Ukrainian President Zelenskyi took place on the sidelines of the G7 summit in Hiroshima, Japan on Saturday.
So far, India has assumed a role safely in the sidelines with relation to the war. The country has not wanted to condemn Russia’s invasion, but has also not voted against the condemnation in the UN. The Indians abstained from voting.
India has also emerged as one of the largest customers for Russian oil exports, albeit at highly subsidised prices. The Russians’ profit margin in this trade is minimal at best, but at least the country gets to sell the oil.
But now it may appear that India wants a somewhat less withdrawn role in this conflict, at least if one is to judge by what is happening at the G7 meeting in Japan this weekend.
NTB-DPA reports in detail.
India and I will do everything we can to find a solution to the war, says Modi, according to the Indian news agency Ani.
It is quite unclear what is involved in this, it is a relatively non-binding statement.
But Zelenskyi nevertheless thanked him for what he perceives as India’s support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.
He writes on Telegram that he had specifically spoken to Modi about Ukraine’s need for demining and mobile hospitals. Support for some of this will be a relatively clear development in India’s relationship to the war.
Zelenskyj also invited the Indian leader to participate in the implementation of the Ukrainian peace plan. This plan essentially involves Russia withdrawing from all the Ukrainian areas it has invaded. There is no statement to India’s response to this.
India has sent some aid to Ukraine since the outbreak of war just over a year ago, but has not been among the major and key supporters.
Both Russia and Ukraine are working behind the scenes to secure the great country’s support. So far, it may appear that India is mostly concerned with securing its own interests: on the one hand, cheap oil from Russia, on the other hand, a relationship with the West that is as frictionless as possible. India is a bit like the hare, nobody knows where it jumps.
India is not a member of the G7 but was specially invited to attend the Hiroshima summit this weekend as a guest nation.