PM Modi dials Ukraine’s president Zelenskyy amid Putin’s nuclear rhetoric, says there can be ‘no military solution’

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy – File Photo

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday held a telephonic conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and discusses the country’s conflict with Russia, the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement.

PM Modi raised concerns over safety of nuclear installations in the east European nation that is battling Russian forces. “Endangerment of nuclear facilities could have far-reaching, catastrophic consequences for public health, environment,” PM told Zelenskyy. 

The prime minister told Zelenskyy that there is no military solution to the ongoing conflict, adding that India is ready to contribute to any peace efforts. 

“Prime Minister reiterated his call for an early cessation of hostilities and the need to pursue the path of dialogue and diplomacy. He expressed his firm conviction that there can be no military solution to the conflict and conveyed India’s readiness to contribute to any peace efforts,” the PMO said in a statement.

He also reiterated the importance of respecting the UN Charter, International Law, and the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all states.

During his conversation with the Ukrainian president, Modi emphasised the importance India attaches to the safety and security of nuclear installations, including in Ukraine.

The prime minister underlined that endangerment of nuclear facilities could have far-reaching and catastrophic consequences for public health and the environment, the statement said.

The two leaders also touched upon important areas of bilateral cooperation, following up on their last meeting in Glasgow in November 2021, it said.

The telephonic conversation came nearly two weeks after Russian President Vladimir Putin declared a partial mobilisation, calling up some three lakh 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.

On the other hand, Zelenskyy has formally ruled out talks with Russia following its illegal annexation of Ukrainian territories. Zelenskyy’s decree released Tuesday declares that holding negotiations with Putin has become impossible after his decision to annex four regions of Ukraine. The decree enacted a decision by Ukraine’s National Security and Defence Council to bolster Ukrainian defences and seek more weapons from the country’s Western allies in response to Moscow’s move.

India, on its part, has been calling for an end to the war that Ukraine has been fighting for seven months. Last month, PM Modi had told Putin that it was not a time for war, with food, fertiliser and fuel security among the major concerns of the world at present.

However, India abstained on a draft resolution tabled in the UN Security Council on September 30, which condemned Russia’s “illegal referenda” and annexation of four Ukrainian territories.

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