NEW DELHI: Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky on Monday said he sought India’s help with implementing a “peace formula” in a phone call with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The conversation comes at a time when India is seeking to strengthen trade relations with Moscow while Western nations introduce new measures to limit Russia’s funding of the war.
“I had a phone call with PM Narendra Modi and wished a successful G20 presidency,” Zelensky wrote on Twitter. “It was on this platform that I announced the peace formula and now I count on India’s participation in its implementation.”
Zelensky asked the Group of 20 (G20) major economies last month to adopt Ukraine’s 10-point peace formula and to end the war. India holds the G20 presidency for a year.
The Indian government said in statement late on Monday that the two leaders discussed opportunities for strengthening bilateral cooperation.
“The prime minister explained the main priorities of India’s G20 presidency, including giving a voice to the concerns of developing nations on issues like food and energy security.”
Modi also “strongly reiterated” his call for an immediate end to hostilities in Ukraine and conveyed India’s support for any peace efforts.
India, which has not explicitly condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, has emerged as the largest buyer of Russian oil after China, this month taking barrels of Urals crude at well below a US$60 price cap agreed by Western nations.
The country’s foreign minister has said that as the world’s third-largest consumer of oil and gas, where income levels are not high, India had to look after its own interests and called Russia “a steady and time-tested partner”.
Reuters also reported last month that Moscow had sent India a list of more than 500 products for potential delivery, including parts for cars, aircraft and trains, as sanctions squeeze Russia’s ability to keep vital industries running.
India, too, has sent Russia a list of Indian products for access to Russian markets, according to the foreign minister, as it seeks to balance bilateral trade that is now tilted towards Russia.