Ukraine wants its President Vladimir Zelensky to be invited to the India-hosted G20 summit in September and is courting Prime Minister Narendra Modi with a charm offensive by a deputy foreign minister, according to Indian media.
India is hosting the G20 summit this year, scheduled for September 9 in New Delhi. Modi has not committed to inviting Zelensky or to visiting Kyiv himself, despite Ukraine’s invitation, the Deccan Herald reported Tuesday. The newspaper noted that a delegation of Indian diplomats, possibly led by Modi’s national security adviser Ajit Doval, may visit Ukraine in the coming weeks.
Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Minister Emine Dzhaparova is visiting India this week, insisting in a series of meetings with young government officials that New Delhi must speak out against Moscow and endorse Kyiv instead. She is the most senior Ukrainian official to arrive in New Delhi since hostilities with Russia escalated in February 2022.
India “wants to be the Vishwaguru, teacher and world arbiter”, Japarova tweeted on Monday. “In our case, we have a very clear picture: aggressor versus innocent victim. Supporting Ukraine is the only right choice for the real Vishwaguru.
Ukraine considers India “a leader of the global south” and hope that New Delhi will be “involved and engaged in global issues and challenges”, Dzhaparova told reporters after meeting Sanjay Verma, secretary for the West at India’s foreign ministry.
In a follow-up TV interview, she said Ukraine was eager to host Doval and expected India to invite Zelensky to the G20 summit. Although Ukraine is not part of the G20, Zelensky was invited by Indonesia to address last year’s rally via video link, delivering a rant against Russia.
“We believe that the intensification of political dialogue at the highest level is [the] first step towards this great goal. My President is requesting a telephone conversation with the Prime Minister. We look forward to welcoming him to Kyiv one day,” Japarova said.
India has always had substantial commercial and military ties with Russia, which have only increased in recent years. It is currently one of best customers when it comes to buying oil, especially after Moscow halted all sales to the US, EU and all countries participating in their price cap system, intended to complement the embargo imposed on the Ukrainian conflict.
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