Prime Miner Narendra Modi spoke to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy over the phone on Monday morning during which the two leaders discussed the evolving situation in Ukraine, as per government sources. Modi is scheduled to speak with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the afternoon.
During the conversation, Modi and Zelenskyy discussed the developing situation in Ukraine, which has been under attack Russia since February 24 with intense fighting still underway in major cities.
Sources said the phone call lasted about 35 minutes. “The two leaders discussed the evolving situation in Ukraine,” they added. Modi “appreciated the continuing direct dialogue between Russia and Ukraine.” He also thanked the Ukrainian President for “the help extended the Government of Ukraine in evacuation of Indian nationals from Ukraine.”
The Prime Miner also sought continued support from the Ukrainian government in the ongoing efforts for evacuation of Indian nationals from Sumy, where hundreds of students continue to remain stuck. This is Modi’s second interaction with Zelenskyy since the invasion.
On Monday morning, Russia announced a ceasefire to create humanitarian corridors across cities for civilians to evacuate safely.
India has brought back thousands of its nationals, most of whom are medical students, from Ukraine through neighbouring countries. Among hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians fleeing the war, Indian nationals too have been crossing over to countries including Romania, Poland and Moldova.
Under Operation Ganga, the government has organised civil as well as Indian Air Force aircraft to repatriate the stranded Indian nationals. The final leg of the operation commenced Sunday.
India has abstained from voting against Russia in the United Nations Security Council and the General Assembly on the matter. It has, however, mentioned that it is deeply durbed the recent turn of events in Ukraine and has encouraged both sides to hold dialogue.
Meanwhile, Ukrainians have resolutely defended their cities, stalling Moscow’s advance, even as the smaller western neighbour of Russia has been militarily outmatched in almost every manner.