G7: Modi-Zelenskyy meet likely today, first in-person interaction since Russian invasion

India has not yet condemned Russian invasion of Ukraine

Russia Ukraine War Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy | AP

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to meet Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Saturday evening, on the sidelines of the ongoing G7 summit in Japan's Hiroshima. This will be the first in-person meeting of the two leaders since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February last year.

The bilateral between Modi and Zelenskyy comes over a month after Ukrainian First Deputy Foreign Minister Emine Dzhaparova visited India. They are likely to discuss measures to de-escalate the crisis even as India continues to maintain a neutral stand on Russia. India has not yet condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine and it has been maintaining that the crisis must be resolved through diplomacy and dialogue.

“India stands on the side of peace, and will remain firmly there. We are committed to supporting those who face challenges in meeting their basic needs, especially in the face of rising costs of food, fuel and fertilisers. We maintain communication with both Russia and Ukraine… Cooperation and collaboration should define our times, not conflict,” Modi had said before leaving for the summit on Friday. In a phone conversation with Zelenskyy last year, Modi said there can be "no military solution" and that India is ready to contribute to any peace efforts.

In the first high-level trip to India since the conflict began, Dzhaparova handed a letter written by Zelenskyy to Modi. Dzhaparova said Zelenskyy will be happy to address the upcoming G20 summit, which is being hosted by India in September. India, however, has not officially stated anything in this regard.

Earlier on Friday, Zelenskyy made a surprise visit to the Arab League Summit in Saudia Arabia, and tried to garner support against Russia. He also took a dig at Iran for supplying drones for the Russian offensive. He also accused some in the hall of turning a blind eye to Russia's violations, without naming them.

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