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“We need India in the peace-building process”: Ukrainian envoy on peace conference in Switzerland

Ambassador of Ukraine to India, Oleksandr Polishchuk (Photo: ANI)

Ukrainian Ambassador, Oleksandr Polishchuk on Friday highlighted India’s global standing as the leader of the Global South ahead of the peace conference in Switzerland aimed at helping chart a path toward peace in Ukraine and said that the war-torn nation need India in the peace-building process.

While speaking to ANI the Ambassador said, “We need India in the peacebuilding process in Ukraine because the Indian leadership, India’s presence at the summit will reinforce all of the diplomatic forces around the world. And definitely, we need to find a peaceful solution and we need to create stable and prosperous conditions in Ukraine.”

Ukraine is looking to strengthen international support for its peace plan at the upcoming global peace summit on June 15-16 in Switzerland, according to Kyiv Independent.

“Definitely India will be present. This is what the Prime Minister said a couple of weeks ago. He confirms that India will be present but the level of presence will depend on timing, logistics and parallel commitment,” said Polishchuk.

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Thursday extended a warm invitation to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to visit Ukraine at “a convenient time”. The invitation came during a phone conversation between the two leaders, where Zelenskyy congratulated PM Modi on his recent election victory and wished for the swift formation of the government.

Further, the envoy also affirmed with a positive attitude that “it will be the first visit in the entire history of our relationship when the Prime Minister will visit Ukraine.”

“And I’m very much happy that my President just yesterday had a direct talk with Prime Minister Modi, and they agreed that we will continue to develop our cooperation, which is a very good sign that Prime Minister Modi says that India will increase the effort in peacebuilding process in Ukraine. So we expect that India will be present during the peace summit, which actually will start next week in Switzerland,” added the Ukrainian envoy.

In response to a question, on his role as an Ambassador in this war, he said, “We try to secure our people and you know that Russia heavily bombarding Ukraine, especially critical infrastructure in Ukraine, and we are very grateful that India is paying a lot of attention support of Ukraine and so that we will continue our new project.”

“Well I’m quite happy that well you have such logical sequence and stability in the line of the government of India and I hope that we will use this opportunity to increase the number of projects in support of Ukraine,” he added.

He also disclosed while speaking to ANI, that there could be possibly high-level visits between the two countries. He said, “It’s a very high probability, I should say. Definitely, yes. You probably remember that we had the visit of our foreign minister to India, and it was agreed that we would have the visit of the Minister of External Affairs to Ukraine. So…We’ll see. And we even have a bigger expectation.”

Following this he also congratulated PM Modi for winning a majority in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections and described it as it’s one of the biggest elections in the world.

“We are going to congratulate Prime Minister Modi and his team for such great achievement because it’s one of the biggest elections in the world. And he demonstrates his leadership. He demonstrates that he can consolidate the nation around his philosophy and his idea to make India an even more great country than it exists at the moment,” the ambassador said.

However in the recent Ministry of External Affairs briefing, MEA spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal said that India has received an invitation from the Swiss side, but the decision regarding participation is still pending.

“We have received an invitation from the Swiss side. we are yet to decide on participation,” said an MEA spokesperson.

Meanwhile, US Vice President Kamala Harris will travel to Switzerland next week to participate in a summit aimed at helping chart a path toward peace in Ukraine, the White House said.

China has indicated that it might not attend the Ukraine Peace Summit set to be held in Switzerland.

On being asked whether China has refused to participate in the Ukraine Peace Summit, Mao Ning said in a weekly press briefing that, China attaches great importance to Switzerland organizing the first Summit on Peace in Ukraine and has been in close communication with Switzerland and relevant parties on this since early this year. China always maintains that the international peace conference needs to meet the three important elements of recognition from both Russia and Ukraine, equal participation of all parties, and fair discussion of all peace plans.”

Following this, In May Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov ruled out his country’s participation in the summit.

While speaking in an interview with a local Russian news outlet, Sergey Lavrov said, “When our Swiss colleagues say they want to invite Russia to the first conference, they are not telling the truth. We will not participate in any events that promote Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s peace formula in one way or another.”

The summit is part of Ukraine’s ongoing effort to secure diplomatic support for its 10-point peace plan announced in November 2022, which includes the full withdrawal of Russian troops and accountability for war crimes committed by Russia.

Ukraine expects attendees at the summit to develop an action plan on three key aspects of its 10-point peace plan. The first point, free navigation, involves protecting port infrastructure in the Black Sea and global food security. The second focus is energy and nuclear security, which includes an end to strikes on Ukraine’s critical infrastructure. And the third focus will be the exchange of captives and the return of children illegally abducted to Russia.

The summit is the highest-level event yet in Ukraine’s “peace formula” initiative. It follows four lower-level conferences held since June 2023.