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Zelenskyy quotes Mahatma Gandhi, says relations with India ‘very important’ for Ukraine

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy with India's new Ambassador to Ukraine, Harsh Kumar Jain, at the Saint Sophia Cathedral in Kyiv on Thursday (All images courtesy: Office of the President of Ukraine)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Thursday that India and Ukraine remain united by their belief in freedom and independence.

Zelenskyy made the comment while receiving credentials from India's new Ambassador to Ukraine, Harsh Kumar Jain, at the Saint Sophia Cathedral in Kyiv on Thursday. 

Addressing the Ambassador of India, Zelenskyy quoted the words of Mahatma Gandhi that he said "aptly describe" Ukraine and Ukrainians.

"Strength is in the absence of fear, not in the number of muscles in our body. First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win," said Zelenskyy. 

Ukraine

In the middle of an intense conflict with neighbouring Russia, the Ukrainian President mentioned that relations with India are "very important" for Ukraine, and he appreciates contacts with the leadership of the country.

India on its part has adopted a position of neutrality in the Ukraine-Russia conflict. It has opposed impostion of sanctions on Russia, abstained in anti-Moscow resolutions at the United Nations, and at the same time provided Ukraine with humanitarian assistance.

Instead of war, New Delhi has been exhorting affected parties as well as the big powers to find a diplomatic solution to the crisis through dialogue.

Last month, Jain handed over 7,725 kg of humanitarian aid consisting of essential medicines and medical equipment to Oleksii Yaremenko, Deputy Minister of Health of Ukraine, in-charge of Humanitarian Aid and EU Integration.

As Zelenskyy wished him a successful tenure, the Indian Ambassador recalled that in 1996-1998 he worked as the Second Secretary for Economic Affairs of the Embassy of India in Kyiv.

"He noted that he was impressed by how much Kyiv has changed and Ukraine's progress during this time," said the Ukrainian President's office.

The new Ambassadors from the United States and the Republic of Moldova also presented their credentials on Thursday in the ceremony which was attended by representatives of all foreign countries whose embassies have already resumed work in Ukraine.

Zelensky

Zelenskyy announced that from now on, it would be at the historic Sophia Cathedral, which was founded 1011 years ago, that the newly appointed ambassadors of foreign countries will present their credentials.

"This is a sacred place for us. Those who stand here must be worthy representatives of their people. Those who stand here must be true friends of our people," he said.

Also read: At the UN, India rejects war – says Ukraine situation should be resolved through quiet diplomacy