Ukraine President Zelenskyy writes to PM Modi, keen on closer ties

During a meeting on Tuesday, Dzhaparova met with Meenakshi Lekhi, the Minister of State for External Affairs and Culture, expressing Ukraine's interest in fostering a stronger and closer relationship with India.

Ukraine Emine Dzhaparova
Dzhaparova also presented a letter from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to Meenakshi Lekhi, the Minister of State for External Affairs and Culture I Photo: @EmineDzheppar / Twitter

Emine Dzhaparova, the First Deputy Foreign Minister of Ukraine, has expressed to her Indian counterparts that Kyiv is keen on developing a stronger and closer relationship with New Delhi.

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Wednesday said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Dzhaparova handed over the letter to Minister of State for External Affairs and Culture Meenakshi Lekhi during a meeting on Tuesday (April 11).

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The MEA said the next round of foreign office consultations between the two sides will be held in Kyiv on a mutually convenient date.

The First Deputy Foreign Minister of Ukraine wrapped up her three-day visit to India on Wednesday. It was the first visit from Ukraine to India after Russia began its invasion of the east European country on February 24 last year.

The MEA said Ukraine requested for additional humanitarian supply, including medicines and medical equipment.

In her meeting with Secretary (West) in the MEA Sanjay Verma, the Ukrainian deputy foreign minister also proposed that rebuilding infrastructure in Ukraine could be an opportunity for Indian companies.

“Dzhaparova, during her visit, highlighted Ukraine’s desire to build a stronger and closer relationship with India,” the MEA said in a statement.

It said Dzhaparova’s visit to India would facilitate cooperation between the two countries.

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“Besides holding discussion on a wide range of bilateral and international issues of mutual interest, she handed over a letter from President Zelenskyy, addressed to Prime Minister Modi,” the MEA said on the Lekhi-Dzhaparova meeting.

On talks between Verma and Dzhaparova, the MEA said the bilateral agenda included spheres such as economic, defence, humanitarian assistance, and global issues of mutual interest.

“She briefed Secretary (West) about the prevailing situation in Ukraine. The two sides agreed to hold the next round of Foreign Office Consultations in Kyiv on a mutually convenient date,” it said.

The MEA said Verma shared that India has provided medicines, medical equipment and would provide school buses etc. to Ukraine.

The MEA said the next meeting of the Inter-governmental commission between the two sides would be held in India.

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“On the issue of Indian medical students, the deputy foreign minister mentioned that Ukraine will allow foreign medical students to take the Unified State Qualification Exam in their country of domicile,” the MEA said.

Since the Ukraine conflict began in February last year, Prime Minister Modi spoke to Russian President Vladimir Putin as well as Ukrainian leader Zelenskyy a number of times.

In a phone conversation with President Zelenskyy on October 4 last year, Modi said that there can be “no military solution” and that India is ready to contribute to any peace efforts.

India has not yet condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine and it has been maintaining that the crisis must be resolved through diplomacy and dialogue.

(With agency inputs)