NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Monday he had sought India’s help in implementing a “peace formula” in a phone call with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The conversation comes at a time when India is seeking to boost trade ties with Moscow while Western nations are introducing new measures to curb Russia’s financing of the war.
“I had a phone call with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and I wish a successful G20 presidency,” Zelensky wrote on Twitter. “I announced the formula of peace on this rostrum and now I count on India’s participation in its implementation.”
Zelensky asked the Group of Twenty (G20) last month to adopt Ukraine’s 10-point peace formula and end the war. India holds the G20 presidency for a year.
The Indian government said in a statement late on Monday that the two leaders discussed opportunities to enhance bilateral cooperation.
The prime minister outlined key priorities for India’s G20 presidency, including giving voice to developing countries’ concerns on issues such as food and energy security.
Modi also “strongly reiterated” his call for an immediate end to hostilities in Ukraine and conveyed India’s support for any peace efforts.
And India, which did not explicitly condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine, emerged as the largest buyer of Russian oil after China, as this month it reduced barrels of Urals crude to well below $60 for the price agreed upon by Western countries.
India’s foreign minister said that as the world’s third largest consumer of oil and gas, where income levels are not high, India should have looked after its own interests and called Russia a “steady and time-tested partner”.
Reuters also reported last month that Moscow had sent India a list of more than 500 products for possible deliveries, including parts for cars, planes and trains, as sanctions strain Russia’s ability to keep vital industries going.
India, too, has sent Russia a list of Indian products to access Russian markets, according to the foreign minister, as it seeks to balance bilateral trade now tilted towards Russia.
(Reporting by Shivam Patel in New Delhi; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)