Modi, Zelensky hold talks over UNSC stance, PM expresses 'concerns over safety' of Indians

  • Russia Ukraine crisis: Kremlin has continued its offensive on the neighbouring land for the third day, now reaching the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy(via REUTERS)
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy(via REUTERS)
Updated on Feb 26, 2022 07:05 PM IST
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Written by Sharmita Kar | Edited by Sohini Goswami, New Delhi

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky said he spoke to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday. Zelensky's tweet in this regard came hours after Russia praised India's decision to abstain from voting at the United Nations Security Council meeting. The Kremlin has continued its offensive on the neighbouring country for the third day, now reaching for the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv.

Calling for stopping “the aggressor together” Zelensky sought from Modi India’s political support at the UNSC.

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"Spoke with Indian Prime Minister @narendramodi. Informed of the course of Ukraine repulsing Russia aggression. More than 100,000 invaders are on our land. They insidiously fire on residential buildings. Urged India to give us political support in UN Security Council. Stop the aggressor together," Zelensky tweeted on Saturday.

The PM's Office (PMO) also released a statement regarding the interaction between the two leaders. During the call, Modi expressed his deep anguish about the loss of lives and properties due to the ongoing conflict and reiterated his call for an “immediate cessation of violence and a return to dialogue”, the PMO statement said. He also expressed India’s willingness to contribute in any way towards peace efforts.

Further, the PM conveyed India’s deep concerns for the safety and security of Indian citizens, including students, in Ukraine. He sought the facilitation by Ukrainian authorities to expedite the safe evacuation of Indian citizens.

On Friday, India abstained from voting on a UN Security Council resolution moved by the United States that "deplores in the strongest terms" Russia's "aggression" against Ukraine, while calling for the immediate cessation of violence and hostilities, asserting that dialogue is the "only answer" to settling disputes.

Also Read  | US to provide $350 million to Ukraine in new military aid against Russia

Ahead of the crucial vote, Ukraine's foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba spoke to Jaishankar and shared his assessment of the current situation in Ukraine. The external affairs minister emphasised India's position on diplomacy and dialogue being the way out. A large number of Indians are stuck in the war-hit country with thousands sending urgent appeals for help for evacuation even as the government is making an all-out effort to bring out Indian citizens via alternative routes following the closure of Ukraine’s airspace.

One flight from Romania carrying 219 Indian citizens has landed in Mumbai this evening. 

Countries bordering with Ukraine, including Romania, Hungary and Slovakia have issued advisories for evacuation through their border routes.

The Indian Embassy in Kiev has advised Indian citizens against moving to any of the border checkpoints without prior coordination with government officials at border posts.

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