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Zelensky blasts Modi’s visit to Moscow

India has become one of Russia’s biggest trade partners and is continuing to strengthen ties

Ukraine’s Vladimir Zelensky has expressed “huge” disappointment following a visit to Russia by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi – his first since the outbreak of the Ukraine conflict.

The Indian prime minister met with Russian President Vladimir Putin for bilateral talks during his two-day trip, which began on Monday. Modi said on Tuesday that the South Asian nation stands ready to provide assistance to establish peace in Ukraine.

Putin thanked the Indian premier for the “attention paid to acute issues, including the attempts to find ways to resolve the Ukrainian crisis as well as to establish peace.”

Since the beginning of military conflict, New Delhi has advocated the use of diplomacy to end the hostilities. The Indian authorities refused to sign the final document at the end of the recent Swiss ‘peace summit’ due to Russia’s exclusion from the event.

The South Asian nation has also abstained from UN resolutions condemning Russia over the Ukraine crisis. India has become one of Russia’s biggest trade partners as Moscow turned to friendly Asian economies following the imposition of Western sanctions, which India refused to implement.

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Last month, after meeting with Zelensky on the sidelines of the G7 Summit, Modi said New Delhi “believes in a human-centric approach and believes that the way to peace is through dialogue and diplomacy.”

Zelensky claimed in a post on X (formerly Twitter) that the bilateral summit between the Russian and Indian leaders was a “huge disappointment and a devastating blow to peace efforts.” He also said Modi’s visit to Moscow had coincided with a deadly missile strike at a children’s hospital in the Ukrainian capital.

On Monday, Zelensky blamed the Russian military forces for serious damage caused at the Okhmatdet (“protection of motherhood and childhood”) medical facility, claiming that Moscow had deliberately targeted civilian buildings.

The Russian Defense Ministry rejected the accusations, calling them “absolutely untrue.” The Russian military confirmed that it had fired a barrage of long-range missiles, but said only military factories and airfields in Ukraine had been targeted. It added that multiple photos and videos from Kiev irrefutably confirmed that the destruction to the hospital facility had been caused by a Ukrainian anti-aircraft missile that was launched from inside the city.

READ MORE: NATO will use Kiev hospital tragedy to escalate conflict – Moscow

The incident killed two people and injured at least 32, including eight children, Ukrainian Interior Minister Igor Klimenko said, adding that rescue and emergency operations at the damaged hospital had finished.

Ukraine called for a UN Security Council meeting shortly afterwards. Russia’s deputy representative to the UN, Dmitry Polyansky, said this meeting was scheduled for July 9. He stated that Russia was planning to outline facts that prove the invalidity of Kiev’s claims.

July 09, 2024 at 05:45PM

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