Zelenskyy had recently pledged to retake more areas in the country’s eastern Donbas region from Russian forces after the country launched a surprisingly effective counteroffensive. “Throughout this week, more Ukrainian flags have been raised in the Donbas. There will be even more in a week,” he had said.
On Tuesday, Zelenskyy also signed a decree formally declaring the prospect of holding any talks with Russian president Vladimir Putin as “impossible”.
“He (Putin) does not know what dignity and honesty are. Therefore, we are ready for a dialogue with Russia, but with another president of Russia,” Zelenskyy had said.
India has been calling for an end to the war that Ukraine has been fighting for seven months, initially against incoming Russian forces, and now on the offensive after retaking key cities from Russian control.
PM Modi on Tuesday conveyed India’s readiness to contribute to any peace efforts.
The PM also reiterated his call for an early cessation of hostilities and the need to pursue the path of dialogue and diplomacy. He also pressed on the importance of respecting the UN Charter, International Law, and the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all states.
He also emphasised the importance India attaches to the safety and security of nuclear installations, including in Ukraine. He underlined that endangerment of nuclear facilities could have far-reaching and catastrophic consequences for public health and the environment.
The two leaders also touched upon important areas of bilateral cooperation, following up on their last meeting in Glasgow in November 2021.
PM Modi and Zelenskyy spoke nearly two weeks after Russian president Vladimir Putin declared a partial mobilisation, calling up reservists in a major escalation of his tapering invasion of Ukraine, which he portrayed as a fight to the death with the US and its allies, especially members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.
During the ceremony that formally made four regions of Ukraine a part of Russia, Putin had declared that the Kremlin “would use all means at its disposal” to ensure the safety of its new citizens and territories.
On September 30, India abstained on a draft resolution tabled in the UN Security Council which condemned Russia’s “illegal referenda” and annexation of four Ukrainian territories.
(With inputs from agencies)