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Ukraine’s Foreign Minister urges countries with special relationship with India to request PM Modi to appeal to Russia to stop ongoing conflict

Kuleba was replying to queries during a televised address where he accused Russia of violating the ceasefire agreements.

On March 6, Dmytro Kuleba, Foreign Minister, Ukraine, urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to appeal to Russian President Vladimir Putin to stop the ongoing conflict. He also asked leaders of countries which have special relationship with PM Modi to appeal to him to intervene amid the Russia-Ukraine conflict to end the war.

Kuleba was replying to queries during a televised address where he accused Russia of violating the ceasefire agreements. When he was asked about the current situation of Indian students stuck in Ukraine, he said Russia’s ceasefire violations had made it difficult to evacuate international students, including those from India.

He said, “For 30 years, Ukraine was a welcoming home for thousands of students from Africa, Asia… to facilitate their (foreign students’) movement. Ukraine arranged trains, set up hotlines, worked with embassies. The Ukrainian government is doing its best.”

He said no one except President Putin is interested in the war and those countries who enjoy special relations with India can appeal to PM Modi to reach out to Putin to stop the conflict. He said, “All countries who enjoy special relations with India can appeal to PM Modi that we call on him to continue reaching out to President Putin and explaining that this war is against the interest of all. People of Russia are not interested in it either.”

He further accused Russia of spreading misinformation on foreign students, including those from India being held hostage by Ukrainian forces. He said Russia has been trying to “win the sympathy” of the countries that have their citizens stuck in Ukraine.

He mentioned the conflict was making it difficult to evacuate foreign nationals, including India. He further added as India holds the largest share in Ukrainian agriculture exports, the conflict would affect India’s food security. He urged governments of several countries, including India, to appeal to Russia to stop the ongoing conflict.

Kuleba said the humanitarian corridors and ceasefires do not exist as Russia has violated the agreement. “We urge Russia to stop shooting to allow civilians, including foreign students, to evacuate,” he said. Stating the ongoing conflict is against the interest of all, he added, “I call on the governments of India, China, and Nigeria, to appeal to Russia to stop the fire and allow civilians to leave.”

The conflict would affect India’s food security, claimed Kuleba

Kuleba claimed the ongoing conflict would affect India’s food security during his address. He said, “India is one of the largest consumers of Ukrainian agricultural products, and if this war continues, it’ll be difficult for us to seed new harvests. So, even in terms of global and Indian food security, it’s in the best interest to stop this war.”

He further called the ‘ordinary Indians’ to put ‘pressure’ on the Russian embassy in India, demanding to stop the war. He said, “Ukraine is fighting only because we were attacked, and we have to defend our land because Putin does not recognize our right to exist.”

India’s agriculture imports from Ukraine

Agriculture imports from Ukraine majorly comprise edible oil. Ukraine is the largest exporter of sunflower oil, of which India holds a significant share. Apart from edible oil, India also imports other food items, including processed food. However, the imports were impacted severely during the pandemic. Ukraine holds the second position in terms of edible oil imports to India. Indonesia is in the first position exporting almost double the amount of edible oil compared to Ukraine’s import of edible oil to India.

Operation Ganga

As per the latest information released by the Ministry of External Affairs, around 13,300 Indians have been brought back to India under Operation Ganga by 63 flights. Over 21,000 people have left Ukraine.

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