Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Monday that he is counting on India’s help to implement a “peace formula” during a phone call with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The call comes as New Delhi seeks to boost trade ties with Moscow after becoming one of the biggest buyers of Russian oil – defying Western sanctions and providing a vital financial lifeline to Russian President Vladimir Putin as the Kremlin wages an unprovoked war against its neighbour.
“I announced the peace formula, and now I count on India’s participation in its implementation,” Zelensky wrote on Twitter. “I also thanked the humanitarian aid and support at the United Nations.”
In a statement following the call, the Indian government said Modi reiterated his calls for an “immediate cessation of hostilities” and a “return to dialogue and diplomacy”.
“The prime minister also conveyed India’s support for any peace efforts,” the statement added.
Zelensky presented a 10-point peace formula to world leaders at the G-20 summit in Bali, Indonesia, in November. India assumed the presidency of the G-20 this month and will remain so until next year.
“The prime minister outlined key priorities for India’s G20 presidency, including giving voice to the concerns of developing countries on issues such as food and energy security,” the New Delhi statement said.
While India has not officially condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Modi told Putin in September that this is now the case. Not a time for warstressing the need to “move on the path of peace,” reminding the Russian leader of the importance of “democracy, diplomacy and dialogue.”
India, with a population of 1.3 billion, has repeatedly said its decision to increase purchases of Russian energy is to protect its interests as a country with lower income levels.
Russia sent India a list of more than 500 products for possible delivery last month, according to Reuters, including parts for cars, planes and trains.
On Sunday, Putin said he was ready to negotiate “acceptable solutions” regarding the war in Ukraine, according to state media. In response, one of Zelensky’s advisors said that Moscow “doesn’t want negotiations, but is trying to avoid responsibility” while continuing to attack civilians.
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