New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday spoke to Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and reiterated his call for “dialogue and diplomacy” to solve the conflict with Russia.
The Prime Minister’s Office said Modi stressed a quick end to hostilities between the two countries, and also underscored the need to respect the UN Charter, international law, and the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all states.
He told Zelenskyy about the importance India attaches to the safety and security of nuclear installations, including those in Ukraine. He underlined that the endangerment of nuclear facilities could have far-reaching and catastrophic consequences for public health and the environment.
Modi also expressed his firm conviction that there could be no military solution to the conflict and conveyed India’s readiness to contribute to any peace efforts, the PMO statement said.
Russian president Vladimir Putin has recently raised the spectre of a nuclear attack and warned the West not to threaten the “territorial integrity” of his country. “We will without doubt use all available means to protect Russia and our people — this is not a bluff,” Putin said in a televised address to the nation on 21 September.
He also announced the annexation of four Russia-controlled regions in Ukraine and called up 300,000 reservists.
Russia’s Defence Minister said Tuesday that over 200,000 men have been drafted into the Russian army in the two weeks since Putin declared a “partial” mobilisation of its citizens to join the war in Ukraine.
The number is still 100,000 short of Moscow’s stated goal of 300,000 reservists, The Moscow Times reported.
Lakhs have also fled the country after Putin decided to induct civilians, with over 200,000 entering Kazakhstan that shares a 7,000 kilometre border.
Putin meanwhile has gotten more aggressive and is poised to sign laws on the annexation of four regions in Ukraine — Kherson, Zaporizhzhia and the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics. Over the last two days, both houses of parliament have voted unanimously to sanction the annexation that violates international law.
Zelenskyy has also hit back, and signed a decree ruling out any possibility of negotiations with Putin.
The decree, dated last Friday, the day Putin announced the annexation, confirms “the impossibility of holding negotiations with the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin”.