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New Delhi explains refusal to sign Zelensky ‘peace conference’ declaration

India has said that only proposals acceptable to both Russia and Ukraine can lead to a resolution to the conflict

India believes that only “sincere and practical engagement” regarding the Ukraine conflict can lead to a resolution, New Delhi said in a statement on Sunday, following Vladimir Zelensky’s ‘peace summit’ hosted by Switzerland. 

India noted that while it took part in the talks, to which Russia was not invited, it only attended the opening and closing plenary sessions and did not associate itself with any communique or document emerging from the event. The country was represented by Pavan Kapoor, the secretary (west) of the Ministry of External Affairs and former ambassador to Russia (2021-24). 

Addressing the conference on Sunday, Kapoor stressed that only solutions acceptable to “both the parties” can achieve a lasting peace in Ukraine.

The Indian Foreign Ministry said later in a statement that the country’s participation in the summit, as well as the preceding meetings based on Ukraine’s ‘peace formula’, is in line with its consistent approach “to facilitate a lasting and peaceful resolution to the conflict through dialogue and diplomacy.” 

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International Cooperation Forum organized by the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, Basel, Switzerland, April 12, 2024.
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“We continue to believe that such a resolution requires a sincere and practical engagement between the two parties to the conflict,” the statement added. New Delhi also said it will continue to engage with both Russia and Ukraine and other stakeholders “to contribute to all earnest efforts to bring about an early and abiding peace.”

Apart from India, around a dozen countries that took part in the talks did not approve the final document, including Brazil, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, the UAE, Mexico, Thailand, and Indonesia; 78 nations and four international bodies signed the communique, according to the Swiss Department of Foreign Affairs. 

India has maintained a neutral position on the conflict, calling for the conflict to be resolved through diplomatic means. Prime Minister Narendra Modi met with Ukrainian leader Vladimir Zelensky on the sidelines of the G7 summit in Italy on Friday. While Modi noted in a post on X (formerly Twitter) that India is “eager” to “cement” bilateral relations with Ukraine, he also restated New Delhi’s position on the conflict. “Regarding the ongoing hostilities, [I have] reiterated that India believes in a human-centric approach and believes that the way to peace is through dialogue and diplomacy.”

READ MORE: Modi tells Zelensky peace is achievable through ‘dialogue and diplomacy’

Moscow dismissed the summit, maintaining that a resolution to the conflict is not possible without involving Russia in talks. The summit was largely based on Zelensky’s ten-point ‘peace formula’, which Moscow firmly rejects. 

Russian President Vladimir Putin offered his own proposal for a ceasefire on Friday – which Kiev and the West immediately rejected.

Where India Meets Russia: Follow and share RT India on X and Instagram

June 17, 2024 at 11:27AM

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