Russia-Ukraine crisis: PM Modi seeks support for quick evacuation
Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Monday, expressing “deep concern” for the safety and security of Indian students still in Ukraine, and seeking their support for the safe and prompt evacuation of Indians from the city of Sumy in north-east Ukraine, according to official sources.
Modi’s conversation with Putin lasted 50 minutes, making it the third since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24. According to sources, he urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to hold direct talks with Zelenskyy in addition to the ongoing negotiations between their teams.
Earlier, Russian authorities announced that a cease-fire would begin on Monday and that “humanitarian corridors” would be established in key Ukrainian cities such as Kyiv, Kharkiv, and Sumy. Sumy, located about 350 kilometres east of Kyiv and 180 kilometres north of Kharkiv, is now at the heart of India’s evacuation efforts from the war zone. Around 700 Indians, mostly Sumy State University students, are stranded in the city.
According to official sources, the Prime Minister welcomed the announcement of a ceasefire and the establishment of humanitarian corridors in parts of Ukraine, including Sumy.
Putin briefed Modi on the status of negotiations between the Ukrainian and Russian teams, according to the PMO. The Prime Minister “welcomed the ongoing negotiations between Russia and Ukraine and expressed hope that they would result in the cessation of hostilities.” “He suggested that a direct conversation between President Putin and President Zelenskyy could significantly help the ongoing peace efforts,” the PMO said.
This was a follow-up to the previous phone call, in which Modi expressed willingness to participate in a peace process.He also spoke with Zelenskyy on Monday. According to sources, the phone call lasted approximately 35 minutes. “The two leaders discussed the evolving situation in Ukraine,” according to sources.
“I appreciate the ongoing direct dialogue between Russia and Ukraine,” Modi said. He also expressed gratitude to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko for “the assistance extended by the Government of Ukraine in the evacuation of Indian nationals from Ukraine.”
He asked Ukraine for continued assistance in the ongoing evacuation of Indian nationals from Sumy. According to the PMO, Zelenskyy briefed the Prime Minister in-depth on the conflict situation and ongoing negotiations between Ukraine and Russia. He also spoke with Zelenskyy on Monday. According to sources, the phone call lasted approximately 35 minutes. “The two leaders discussed the evolving situation in Ukraine,” according to sources.
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