India’s Jaishankar and Ukraine’s counterpart discuss a grain deal and nuclear worries

S Jaishankar, External Affairs Minister, met with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba on Saturday following his meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Moscow. They discussed ways to end Russia’s war on Ukraine, nuclear concerns, and bilateral cooperation.

A meeting between Jaishankar and Kuleba took place in Phnom Penh, the Cambodian capital, on the sidelines of the ASEAN-India summit. As part of a delegation of Indian officials attending the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit as well as the 17th East Asia Summit, he is accompanying Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar.

It was a pleasure to meet Ukrainian FM @DmytroKuleba. As part of our discussions, we discussed recent developments in the conflict, the grain initiative, as well as nuclear concerns,” Jaishankar wrote on Twitter. As a result of the Russian nuclear rhetoric, India has expressed concern in the past.

Kuleba stated: “I met with my Indian counterpart @DrSJaishankar to discuss bilateral cooperation and ways to end Russia’s war against Ukraine.”. The Russian government must immediately cease its deadly attacks on Ukraine, withdraw all troops from the country, and declare peace. In addition, we focused on the issue of global food security.”

According to Saurabh Kumar, Secretary (East) at the Ministry of External Affairs, they discussed the current state of the Ukrainian situation.

Earlier this week, Jaishankar visited Moscow for two days, his first visit since Russia invaded Ukraine in February.

Regarding the purchase of cheap Russian oil, he had made it clear that India would continue to do so in order to meet the needs of Indian consumers.

Kuleba had criticised India in August this year for continuing to purchase Russian crude oil during Moscow’s ongoing conflict with Ukraine.

During a press conference, Kuleba had said that every barrel of Russian crude oil delivered to India contains a significant amount of Ukrainian blood.

When Jaishankar met with the Russian Foreign Minister in Moscow, the Ukraine conflict was a dominant topic of conversation.

The global economy is so interdependent that any significant conflict will have a significant impact on it, and the Global South is feeling the pain particularly acutely after two years of the pandemic.

In this context, Jaishankar stated that India supports “dialogue and diplomacy” and supports “peace, respect for international law, and the UN Charter”.

There have been at least five telephone conversations between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin, as well as three with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, indicating that Delhi maintains open communication channels with both countries. During this time, Prime Minister Modi has held meetings and telephone conversations with US President Joe Biden, the German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron.

Several times, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has attempted to defuse the crisis with India. According to Jaishankar, India weighed with Russia on grain shipments from ports in the Black Sea in September of this year.

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