Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Minister Emine Dzheppar, delivered a letter by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, during her meeting with the Minister of State for External Affairs Meenakshi Lekhi on Tuesday in New Delhi.
The Ministry of External Affairs confirmed the letter saying Ukraine requested additional humanitarian supplies including medicines and medical equipment as the war lingered on.
“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,” read the statement by MEA.
“The Ukrainian Deputy FM also proposed that rebuilding infrastructure in Ukraine could be an opportunity for Indian companies,” the statement added.
This was Dzheppar’s first visit to India since Russia invaded Ukraine in February last year. It was the culmination of her three-day visit to India and the letter is an attempt to win some favour from the Indian side which is due to host the G7 summit later this year.
Notably, the letter sought Zelensky’s participation in the September summit as well with the Indian side keeping mum on the issue so far.
“I think India is a global player. It is really a ‘Vishwaguru’ of the world. We are feeling the pain by actually fighting for the values. This is about justice… Rusia is questioning the very existence of my country. In our history of 1,500 years, Ukraine never attacked any country,” said Dzheppar.
Lekhi also took to her Twitter account to post about the visit saying, “Pleased to meet Ukrainian First Dy FM Emine Dzheppar. Exchanged views on bilateral & global issues of mutual interest. Cultural ties & women empowerment also figured in the discussion. Ukraine was assured of enhanced humanitarian assistance.”
Since the war broke out, PM Modi has spoken to Zelensky as well as Russian President Vladimir Putin on multiple occasions, reiterating that this is not the ‘era of war’.
Last year in December, Zelensky rang up Modi and congratulated India for the G20 presidency.
“I had a phone call with @PMOIndia Narendra Modi and wished a successful #G20 presidency. It was on this platform that I announced the peace formula and now I count on India’s participation in its implementation. I also thanked for humanitarian aid and support in the UN.” tweeted Zelensky at the time.
The Indian government released an official statement expressing that the two leaders discussed opportunities for strengthening bilateral cooperation. Meanwhile, PM Modi requested Ukraine authorities to facilitate arrangements for the continued education of Indian students who had to return from Ukraine.