Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi voiced his support for peace efforts in Ukraine during a phone conversation with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in which the Ukrainian leader sought India’s help in implementing “a peace formula.”
“I had a phone call with @PMOIndia Narendra Modi and wished a successful #G20 presidency,” Zelenskyy wrote on Twitter Monday. It was on this platform that I announced the peace formula and now I count on India’s participation in its implementation.”
India assumed the rotating presidency of the Group of 20 major economies for the year beginning December 1.
In a virtual address to the G-20 summit in Indonesia last month, Zelenskyy asked the grouping to adopt Ukraine’s 10-point peace formula calling for withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine and restoration of its territorial integrity. He said then that “now” is the time to end the war.
A statement from the Indian government on the phone conversation with Zelenskyy late Monday said that Modi “strongly reiterated his call for an immediate cessation of hostilities” and added that both sides should revert to dialogue and diplomacy to find a lasting solution to their differences. The statement said the Indian prime minister conveyed India’s support for any peace efforts, and assured Zelenskyy of India’s commitment to continue providing humanitarian assistance for the affected civilian population.
The statement also said that “The Prime Minister explained the main priorities of India’s G20 Presidency, including giving a voice to the concerns of developing nations on issues like food and energy security.”
The phone call between the Indian and Ukrainian leaders came ten days after Modi’s phone conversation with Russia leader Vladimir Putin, in which New Delhi said Modi spoke of the need for dialogue and diplomacy to end the conflict.
At a regular press briefing following the Modi-Putin call, U.S. State Department Principal Deputy Spokesperson Vedant Patel said in response to a question that “Any country that’s interested in engaging in peace and interested in ending this war must do so in close partnership with Ukrainian partners.”
India has not outright condemned Russia for its war on Ukraine and continues to have a close partnership with Moscow. During a visit to Moscow in November, India’s foreign minister said that India, which has emerged as a huge buyer of Russian crude oil, will boost economic ties with Moscow.
However, Modi had also told Russian president Vladimir Putin in September at a regional meeting that today “is not an era of war.”
Analysts in New Delhi say hopes to play a constructive role in any peace efforts to end the Ukrainian conflict during its presidency of G-20.