Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says he asked India for help implementing a “peace formula” in a phone call with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Monday’s conversation came at a time when India is trying to strengthen trade ties with Moscow, while Western nations are taking new measures to limit Russia’s funding for its war in Ukraine.
“I had a phone call with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and wished for a successful G20 presidency,” Zelenskyy wrote on Twitter. “I announced the peace formula on this platform, and now I’m counting on India’s involvement in its implementation.”
Zelenskyy asked the Group of 20 Major Economies (G20) last month to adopt Ukraine’s 10-point peace formula to end the war. India is holding the G20 presidency for one year.
The Indian government said in a statement that the two heads of state and government had discussed ways to strengthen cooperation.
“The prime minister explained the key priorities of India’s G20 presidency, including giving voice to developing countries’ concerns on issues such as food and energy security,” it said.
Modi also “strongly” reaffirmed his call for an immediate end to hostilities in Ukraine and conveyed India’s support for all peace efforts, the statement said.
India, which has not expressly condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine, has become the largest buyer of Russian oil after China. Western sanctions targeted Russia’s fuel and energy products, which are the country’s biggest exports and money makers, but this month India bought barrels of Ural crude oil at a price well below a $60 price cap agreed by Western nations.
Indian foreign minister said that a country with huge energy needs, where income levels are not high, must look after its own interests, as he described Russia as a “stable and proven partner.”
The news agency Reuters reported last month that Moscow sent India a list of more than 500 products it needs — including parts for cars, airplanes and trains — as sanctions limit Russia’s ability to keep key industries running.
According to the Foreign Minister, India has also sent the Kremlin a list of Indian products that require access to the Russian market. New Delhi is trying to balance bilateral trade, which is now focused on Russia.