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Ukraine Foreign Minister Kuleba, Jaishankar to discuss global and regional issues of common concern: MEA

March 28, 2024 8:07 PM IST

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, who is on a two-day visit to India, will meet External Affairs Minister Dr. S Jaishankar and discuss global and regional issues of common concern, MEA official spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal said on Thursday.

The two leaders will hold talks on issues related to bilateral ties and review the intergovernmental commission that was held earlier, informed Randhir Jaiswal while addressing a press briefing on Thursday.

When asked about Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s post of hoping whether India will join the upcoming Swiss Peace Conference, Jaiswal said, “Our position is very clear on peace initiatives and how we look at the Ukraine-Russia conflict. We continue to encourage peaceful resolution of the conflict through dialogue and diplomacy and remain open to engage all ways and means to help achieve this objective.”

In a statement shared on X, Zelenskyy stated, “I spoke with Prime Minister Narendra Modi to express gratitude for India’s support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, humanitarian aid, and active participation in Peace Formula meetings. It will be important for us to see India attend the inaugural Peace Summit, which is currently being prepared in Switzerland.”

India has always condemned civilian killings and called for a peaceful resolution to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. In a major statement, PM Narendra Modi told President Vladimir Putin that “this is not the era of war” on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in Uzbekistan in 2022.

Dmytro Kuleba, who arrived in India on Thursday, said that his two-day official visit will look to boost bilateral ties between the two countries and build on the dialogue between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Ukrainian President Zelenskyy.

Official engagements of the visiting leader include meetings with External Affairs Minister Dr. Jaishankar, Deputy National Security Advisor Vikram Misri to discuss matters pertaining to the bilateral partnership and cooperation on regional and global issues of mutual interest, according to the Ministry of External Affairs press release.

The visit comes days after a telephonic conversation between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on March 20 in which the two leaders discussed ways to further strengthen the India-Ukraine partnership in various spheres.

Addressing an online briefing ahead of the visit on Wednesday, Kuleba said, “I have already announced I would be visiting New Delhi on the invitation of my New Delhi counterpart, S Jaishankar. This would be my first visit to India and the first visit by a Ukrainian Foreign Minister to the country in seven years. The aim is to strengthen India-Ukraine relationship.”

During the briefing, Kuleba further said that another important issue that will be discussed during the visit is ‘air defence’.

“The more important issue…or the most important issue, would be air defence. Russia escalated its air terror against Ukraine. It has launched 190 missiles of various types against Ukraine, 400 Shahed drones and 700 guided bombs in just one week,” the Ukrainian Foreign Minister said.

He added, “These strikes targeted energy facilities including critical infrastructure and civilians resulting in significant casualties and damages as well as power outages in entire cities. Ukraine urgently requires more air defence and interceptors, particularly patriots and other systems capable of intercepting ballistic missiles.”

In response to a question, Kuleba said, “India is welcome to cooperate, engage with Ukraine on economic projects now and of course engage with India on re-construction of Ukraine.”

(ANI)

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