Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy | Photo: PTI
New Delhi: In a phone conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi strongly reiterated his call for an immediate cessation of hostilities between Ukraine and Russia, and said both sides should revert to dialogue and diplomacy to find a lasting solution to their differences.
In a tweet, Zelenskyy said he counted on New Delhi's support for the implementation of his "peace formula", which he had proposed on the G20 platform.
The Prime Minister's Office (PMO) said Modi requested that the Ukrainian authorities facilitate arrangements for the continued education of the Indian students who had to return from the east European country earlier this year.
"The leaders also exchanged views about the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. Prime Minister Modi strongly reiterated his call for an immediate cessation of hostilities, and said that both sides should revert to dialogue and diplomacy to find a lasting solution to their differences," the PMO said in a statement.
It said Modi also conveyed India's support for any peace efforts and assured the Ukrainian president of India's commitment to continue providing humanitarian assistance for the affected civilian population.
"The two leaders discussed opportunities for strengthening bilateral cooperation. The prime minister requested Ukraine authorities to facilitate arrangements for the continued education of Indian students who had to return from Ukraine earlier this year," the PMO said.
Hundreds of Indian medical students returned to India following the Russian invasion of Ukraine that began on February 24.
The PMO said Zelenskyy conveyed his best wishes for India's presidency of the G20.
"The prime minister explained the main priorities of India's G20 Presidency, including giving a voice to the concerns of developing nations on issues like food and energy security," the PMO said.
In his tweet, Zelenskyy said: "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."
Modi held a phone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin on December 16 during which he reiterated his call for resolving the Ukraine conflict through "dialogue and diplomacy".
Since the Ukraine conflict began in February, Modi has spoken to Putin as well as Zelenskyy a number of times.
In a phone conversation with Zelenskyy on October 4, the prime minister said there can be "no military solution" and that India is ready to contribute to any peace efforts.
India is yet to condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine and has been maintaining that the crisis must be resolved through diplomacy and dialogue.