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“My flag became my guarantee”: PM Modi on Indian students brought back from Ukraine, personal intervention

Prime Minister Narendra Modi during interview with ANI (Photo: ANI)

Noting the power of the tricolour in a foreign land, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that it was the strength of the Indian flag that became his guarantee when so many people from India, as well as the youth, were trapped in Ukraine at the time of the conflict.

PM Modi said that it was the Indian tricolour that became his “guarantee” during the time of the raging war between Russia and Ukraine.

In an interview with ANI, PM Modi said, “I have been very friendly with both the presidents (Russia and Ukraine). I can publicly say to President Putin that this is not the time for war. I can also say publicly to Ukraine that we should follow the path of dialogue,” underscoring that “this is because I have credibility.”

“…When I said that so many people from India our youth is trapped. And I need your help. And what can I do for you? Then I said, I have arranged so much. You help me so much. They helped. And the strength of the Indian flag was so much that even a foreigner used to hold the Indian flag in his hand. So there was a place for him. So my flag became my guarantee,” the Prime Minister emphasised.

PM Modi said that although there have been a lot of ongoing discussions about Ukraine, he has seen many such incidents since 2014.

The Prime Minister also referred to the direct call from him to the Saudi King in the year 2015, which helped India evacuate on a mass scale Indians and foreginers were stranded in war-torn Yemen when bombing by Saudi Arabia and its allies on Yemen made it difficult to evacuate Indian nationals.

The Prime Minister said, “I spoke to the Saudi King and told him that I want to bring people from Yemen there. So your bombarding is going on, we are not able to do it, How will you help us? So he said, Please try to understand me. And Sushma ji has said all these things in her interview. There used to be a period on the request of India in which there was no bombarding. And at that time, we used to take our people out in aircrafts. We brought about 5000 people from Yemen It was the same in Ukaraine.”

In March this year, PM Modi held separate telephonic conversations with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Prime Minister Modi, as he dialled Russian President Putin, congratulated him for his re-election to the top office, as well as both leaders agreed to intensify efforts towards expanding the India-Russia ‘Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership’.

He reaffirmed India’s stand on dialogue and diplomacy as a way for the resolution of the conflict.

Whereas, in conversation with Zelenskyy, PM Modi had reiterated India’s people-centric approach and called for dialogue and diplomacy as the way forward in the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

The Prime Minister noted that India supports all efforts for an early and peaceful resolution of all issues between the parties. He added that India would continue to do everything within its means to support a peaceful solution.

President Zelenskyy appreciated India’s continued humanitarian assistance for the people of Ukraine. The two leaders agreed to remain in touch.

Earlier in 2022, PM Modi’s advice to President Putin over the Ukraine war during a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation’s summit in Uzbekistan’s Samarkand was widely noted.

“Today’s era is not of war and I have spoken to you about it on the call. Today we will get the opportunity to talk about how we can progress on the path of peace…,” PM Modi had said.

The war between Russia and Ukraine began in February 2022.