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Ukraine seeks closer ties with India, says being with Russia is "wrong side of history"

Ukraine’s First Deputy Foreign Minister Emine Dzhaparova has called for closer ties between India and Ukraine, while suggesting that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine provides lessons for countries with “difficult neighbours”. Speaking at a leading think-tank, Dzhaparova said that being with Russia means being on the wrong side of history, and that supporting Russia puts countries in the “evil visionary picture of the world”. She added that India can play a greater role in bringing peace as a global leader and current chair of the G20.

Picture: Kumaon Jagran
Ukraine's Deputy Foreign Minister Emine Dzhaparova meets Meenakashi Lekhi, MoS MEA

Dzhaparova also addressed Ukraine’s military ties with Pakistan, saying they are not directed against India’s interests and began around three decades ago. She urged India to be “pragmatic and balanced” in its views, citing its own “difficult” neighbours of Pakistan and China.

The Ukrainian minister noted that India is witnessing visionary changes and it may take some time for it to build new relations with Ukraine, but that ties should be based on a “pragmatic and balanced approach”. She said India should be aware of the dangers of not stopping those who prefer to push their agenda with “impunity”, adding that Ukraine is ready to share critical military technologies and expertise with India.

Dzhaparova also invoked Mahatma Gandhi’s teachings, saying he called for fighting for rights without violence. She added that Ukraine and India have much in common and untapped potential in their bilateral relations, and that her country is ready to expand ties with India.

During her visit to India, Dzhaparova held talks with Minister of State for External Affairs Meenakashi Lekhi, exchanging views on bilateral and global issues of mutual interest. Lekhi tweeted that cultural ties and women’s empowerment also figured in the discussion, and that Ukraine was assured of enhanced humanitarian assistance. Dzhaparova also invited National Security Advisor Ajit Doval to visit Ukraine.

The war in Ukraine, according to Dzhaparova, showed that Russian military capabilities are not sufficient, and that its tanks can be “destroyed in one artillery shot”. She said Ukraine is ready to share critical military technologies and expertise with India, and that her country’s relationship with Pakistan is not directed against India’s interests.

Ukraine’s conflict with Russia began in February 2022, and since then, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has spoken to both Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelenskyy a number of times. Modi has said that there can be “no military solution” and that India is ready to contribute to any peace efforts.

Dzhaparova’s visit to India was the first from Ukraine since Russia’s invasion of the country in February 2022. She said Ukraine wants India and Ukraine to come closer, despite their different pages in history and Soviet heritage. Dzhaparova also said that Ukraine is ready to expand ties with India and that her visit was only a start in the dialogue between the two countries.

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