After India abstained from a Security Council vote, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky requested Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for “political support” at the UN on Saturday.
India, along with China and the United Arab Emirates, is now on the UN’s top council, but it did not vote on a resolution on Friday that condemned Russia’s “aggression” against Ukraine and urged an immediate evacuation of its soldiers.
Russia used its veto power as a permanent member of the UN Security Council to block the resolution.
On Saturday, Zelensky wrote on Twitter that he had spoken with Modi and informed him that “more than 100,000 intruders are on our territory.”
He tweeted, “Stop the aggressor together!”
Despite being a democracy and a member of the “Quad” organization with Australia, Japan, and the US, India has not openly criticized or declared Moscow’s actions an invasion.
Instead, it’s been talking about “developments” in Ukraine.
Later Saturday, India’s foreign ministry issued a statement, describing the situation as a “conflict scenario” in which Modi “reiterated his urge for an immediate end of violence and a resumption of dialogue.”
The Indian leader had also requested “facilitation… to quickly and safely remove Indian people” from Ukrainian authorities, who are resisting a Russian assault on Kyiv and other towns.
Throughout the Cold War, New Delhi and Moscow had a tight connection, which continues to this day – Putin paid a rare visit to India late last year – with Russia being India’s largest armaments supplier.
The White House press secretary, Jen Psaki, told reporters on Friday that “we continue to communicate with the Indians” because of their position on events in Ukraine.