Ukraine today exhorted India again to use her influence with Russia to stop the war that is in its second month and cost thousands of lives. Asked if he sees Prime Minister Narendra Modi being the mediator between Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelinsky and President Putin, Ukrainian foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba told NDTV this evening, “If Prime Minister Modi is willing to play that role, we will welcome his efforts”.
“Ukraine has been a reliable consumer of Indian products,” Mr Kuleba told NDTV in the exclusive interview.
“We always have been one of the guarantors of Indian food security. We always supplied you with sunflower oil, grains and other products. This is an unusually beneficial relationship,” he said.
“We request you to take advantage of the level of relationship India enjoys with Russia and convince President (Vladimir) Putin to stop war,” he said. “The only man making decisions in Russia is President Putin. So you need to speak with him directly on how to end this war,” he added, describing the Russian President as the “only person in the planet who wants this war”.
Describing the position of Ukraine, which has been forced to defend itself from Russian aggression, and its war as a “fair war”, he said, “I hope India will support Ukraine”.
The Ukraine minister also expressed his condolences for the death of the Indian student during Russian bombing in Kharkiv. “Until Russia arrived with its tanks and planes, Ukraine has been a home for Indians. We want students to come back,” he added.
Ukraine had another round of talks with Russia yesterday in Istanbul. While Kremlin today played down hopes of a breakthrough, Mr Kuleba said, “We are exchanging ideas and trying to agree on fundamentals. We are far away from the moment where documents can be signed”.