India supports direct dialogue between Russia and Ukraine, Prime Minister Narendra Modi told President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine on Monday during a morning phone call. This is the second phone call between the two leaders since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24. President Zelensky thanked India for supporting the Ukrainian people with humanitarian assistance.
"President Zelensky briefed the Prime Minister in detail about the conflict situation and the ongoing negotiations with Russia. The Prime Minister expressed deep concern about the conflict and resultant humanitarian crisis. The Prime Minister reiterated his call for immediate cessation of violence and noted that India has always stood for peaceful resolution of issues and direct dialogue between the two parties," said a government press release issued after the conversation.
Mr. Modi thanked President Zelensky for facilitating evacuation of the stranded Indian students.
"He expressed deep concern for safety and security of Indian students still remaining in Ukraine and emphasised the need for their quick and safe evacuation," the press release said.
The conversation was held in the backdrop of the announcement of ceasefire in many cities including Sumy where around 500 Indian students remain. Over the last several days, the students have reached out to the Indian and international media seeking help and India has urged Ukraine and Russia to declare local ceasefire to ensure the safe evacuation of the students.
After the phone call, Mr. Zelensky said on social media he is “grateful for the support to the Ukrainian people”.
“Informed Prime Minister Narendra Modi about countering Russian aggression. India appreciates the assistance to its citizens during the war and commitment to direct peaceful dialogue at the highest level,” said Mr. Zelensky.