Indian prime minister Narendra Modi has urged Russian president Vladimir Putin to immediately halt military action against Ukraine, underscoring the need for a diplomatic solution to the standoff.
Modi dialled the Russian president on Thursday night, hours after Ukraine sought India’s intervention in resolving the crisis that reportedly claimed at least 68 lives.
‘The prime minister appealed for an immediate cessation of violence, and called for concerted efforts from all sides to return to the path of diplomatic negotiations and dialogue,’ the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement.
During the short conversation, Modi also expressed ‘India’s concerns regarding the safety of the Indian citizens in Ukraine, especially students’, making it clear that his government attaches highest priority to their safe exit, the PMO said.
Earlier on Thursday, Ukraine’s envoy in Delhi sought Modi’s intervention in ending the Russian offensive.
‘Modi ji is one of the most powerful, respected world leaders. You have a privileged, strategic relation with Russia. If Modiji speaks to Putin we are hopeful he’ll respond,’ Ukraine’s ambassador Igor Polikha told the local media.
‘India should be much more actively engaged, given the privileged relation India has with Russia. Not just for our safety, but of your own citizen’s safety too, we need intervention of India.’