Modi meets Zelenskyy, says India eager to cement bilateral relations with Ukraine | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Modi meets Zelenskyy, says India eager to cement bilateral relations with Ukraine

Jun 14, 2024 06:59 PM IST

Zelenskyy, who is a special invitee to the G7 Summit, said he and Modi discussed the development of bilateral relations and ways to expand trade

New Delhi: The Ukraine peace summit to be hosted by Switzerland this week figured in a bilateral meeting on Friday between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who thanked the Indian leader for sending a high-level delegation to the meeting. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy (Twitter/@narendramodi)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy (Twitter/@narendramodi)

The two leaders met on the margins of the G7 Summit in Italy, a day ahead of the ‘Summit on Peace’ in Ukraine to be held in the Swiss resort of Bürgenstock from June 15-16. Russia has not been invited to the summit, while China is staying away. Switzerland sent out 160 invitations, though only 90 states and organisations are expected to attend the summit. 

Modi said India continues to encourage a “peaceful resolution of the conflict through dialogue and diplomacy”, and New Delhi will “continue to do everything within its means to support a peaceful solution”, according to a readout from the external affairs ministry. 

Also Read: PM Modi, Rishi Sunak assess India-UK free trade pact talks on G7 Summit sidelines

The readout said the leaders had a “productive meeting”, during which they discussed ways to strengthen bilateral ties. “They also exchanged views on the situation in Ukraine and the upcoming Summit on Peace being hosted by Switzerland,” it added. 

Zelenskyy said on Facebook that the two sides talked about preparations for the peace summit and issues on its agenda. “I thank Prime Minister Narendra Modi for sending a high-level delegation to the summit,” he said. 

People familiar with the matter said both Modi and external affairs minister S Jaishankar are not expected to attend the peace summit, and India will be represented by a senior official. 

The peace summit is underpinned by elements of a 10-point peace formula presented by Zelenskyy in late 2022. It is not expected to produce any major results and is being seen as a largely symbolic effort on the part of Ukraine to rally the world community. 

Modi said in a post on X that he had a “very productive meeting” with Zelenskyy. “India is eager to further cement bilateral relations with Ukraine. Regarding the ongoing hostilities, reiterated that India believes in a human-centric approach and believes that the way to peace is through dialogue and diplomacy,” he said. 

He also thanked Zelenskyy for his wishes on assuming office for a third term. 

Zelenskyy, who is a special invitee to the G7 Summit, said he and Modi discussed the development of bilateral relations and ways to expand trade, particularly in the “context of the functioning of the Black Sea export corridor”. The two sides also explored the possibility of exchanging experiences in the use of new technologies in agriculture, Zelenskyy said. 

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Modi and Zelenskyy also met on the sidelines of last year’s G7 Summit in Japan. India has so far refrained from criticising Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and has pushed both sides to return to the path of dialogue and diplomacy to resolve their differences. 

Leaders of the G7 states agreed on a deal on Thursday to provide loans worth $50 billion to Ukraine by using interest from Russian assets that were frozen after the Russian invasion. 

Zelenskyy signed a new, long-term security accord with US President Joe Biden after signing a 10-year security agreement with Japan, with Tokyo promising to provide Kyiv with $4.5 billion this year. He said the two security agreements form the foundation of a new security architecture for Ukraine. 

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