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India engages with Russia and Ukraine to explore possibilities of ending war  

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on the sidelines of the ASEAN ministerial meeting in Jakarta on Thursday (Image courtesy: Russian Foreign Ministry)

Walking a tightrope of diplomacy, India on Thursday engaged with Russia and Ukraine to drive forward not just the bilateral ties but also find a way out to some concrete settlement to end the ongoing war which has claimed thousands of lives on the both sides since February 2022.

While External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar was holding key discussions with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on the sidelines of the ASEAN ministerial events in Jakarta, Sanjay Verma – Secretary (West) at the Ministry of External Affairs – met Ukraine’s First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Emina Japarova in Kyiv.

“Discussed bilateral economic issues, as also matters pertaining to the Ukraine conflict,” Jaishankar tweeted after the meeting with Lavrov.

Verma, meanwhile, too had an extensive agenda at hand – discussing “Ukrainian conflict and peace” with Japarova during the 9th round of Indian-Ukrainian political consultations in Kyiv.

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The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said that both parties exchanged views on a wide range of issues of bilateral relations, including security issues in Europe and the Indo-Pacific region, global energy and food crisis, cooperation within international organisations, humanitarian aid and post-war reconstruction of Ukraine.

“Emine Japarova informed the Indian side about the current situation in Ukraine and the international support of our country in countering Russian aggression. The first deputy invited India to participate in the implementation of the Ukrainian Peace Formula. Emine Japarova also called on Indian representatives to join the International Crimean Platform and take part in its third summit,” it said in a statement issued after the talks.

Promising to hold the next round of political consultations in New Delhi soon, Ukraine stated that the agreements reached during Thursday’s meeting between the interlocutors proved the willingness of the parties to intensify cooperation in various areas of mutual interest.

Later in the evening, Verma also called on Ruslan Stefanchuk, Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine to discuss inter parliamentary cooperation between the two democratic countries.

The Ukrainian government led by Volodymyr Zelensky considers India – a leader of the Global South – as a major player in implementation of the Ukrainian peace formula and consolidation of international support for Kyiv’s peace plan to end the conflict with Russia.

As reported by IndiaNarrative.com exclusively, Verma represented India at a significant meeting called in Copenhagen last month – and held in “in the strictest secrecy” – at the initiative of Kyiv to find a concrete settlement to end the ongoing war.

Several top diplomats from the Western countries along with India – the current chair of G20 – Brazil, and South Africa, were part of the key gathering in the Danish capital on June 24 as Ukraine tried to enlist maximum support on key peace principles.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Japan’s Hiroshima on May 20 (Image courtesy: PIB)

The meeting came on the heels of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting with Zelensky – the first between the two leaders after the start of the Russia-Ukraine conflict – on the sidelines of the G7 Summit in Hiroshima on May 20 and Andriy Yermak, one of the Ukrainian President’s key aides, dialing National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval on June 13.

After Zelensky briefed him on the current situation, PM Modi had once again conveyed India’s clear support for dialogue and diplomacy to find a way forward and said that for a resolution of the situation, India and he personally would do everything within the means.

Yermak, who is the head of the Ukrainian president’s office, also noted the need to involve the widest possible range of countries, in particular the Global South, to participate in the event.

“The main topic of the conversation was the implementation of the Ukrainian peace formula, in particular the consolidation of international support for the Ukrainian peace plan and the possibility of India joining the implementation of its individual points,” said Zelensky’s office in a statement released after the telephone conversation between NSA Doval and Yermak.

Also Read: Ukraine looks at India, leader of Global South, for support to end war with Russia