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First Modi-Zelenskyy meet since Ukraine war likely in Hiroshima

Last updated on: May 19, 2023 21:32 IST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to hold bilateral talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on the sidelines of the G7 summit in the Japanese city of Hiroshima on Saturday evening, people familiar with the matter said.

Photograph: ANI Photo

It will be the first in-person meeting between the two leaders after the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February last year and is taking place over a month after Ukrainian First Deputy Foreign Minister Emine Dzhaparova visited India.

Modi is also scheduled to hold bilateral talks on Saturday with his Japanese counterpart Kishida Fumio, French President Emmanuel Macron and Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh among others.

The meeting between Modi and Zelenskyy has been scheduled following a series of discussions between senior diplomats of India and Ukraine.


The prime minister arrived in Hiroshima on Friday to attend the annual summit of the G7 grouping in the first leg of his three-nation tour that will also take him to Papua New Guinea and Australia.

The Ukrainian president is also attending the G7 summit following an invitation by Japan, the current chair of the powerful grouping.

Secretary of Ukraine's National Security and Defence Council Oleksiy Danilov said that Zelenskyy would attend the summit.

"We were sure that our president would be where Ukraine needed him, in any part of the world, to solve the issue of stability of our country," he said on national television Friday.

"There will be very important matters decided there, so physical presence is a crucial thing to defend our interests," Danilov said.

Dzhaparova visited India last month, in first high-level trip to India from Ukraine after the conflict began in the eastern European country.

During her visit, Dzhaparova handed over a letter to Minister of State for External Affairs  Meenakshi Lekhi. The letter was written to Modi by Zelenskyy.

Since the Ukraine conflict began, Modi spoke to Russian President Vladimir Putin as well as Zelenskyy a number of times.

In a phone conversation with Zelenskyy on October 4 last year, Modi said there can be "no military solution" and that India is ready to contribute to any peace efforts.

In a bilateral meeting with Putin on September 16 last year in the Uzbek city of Samarkand, Modi said, "Today's era is not of war" and nudged the Russian leader to end the conflict.

India has not yet condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine and it has been maintaining that the crisis must be resolved through diplomacy and dialogue.

In New Delhi, Dzhaparova had said that India is a global leader and can help in addressing key global challenges and promoting peace including in her country.

Dzhaparova said Zelenskyy will be happy to address the upcoming G20 summit, which is being hosted by India in September in its capacity as the chair of the grouping.

The Ukrainian president had addressed the Bali summit of G20 last year through video conference.

G7 comprises the US, the UK, France, Italy, Germany, Canada and Japan. Japan, the current chair of the grouping, invited India and seven other countries to the summit.

All the G7 countries are also members of the G20 grouping. India is holding the presidency of the G20.

India has been focusing on ensuring consensus for a joint communique at the G20 summit in September. The G20 also comprises Russia and China.

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