Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Saturday asked Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for “political support” at the United Nations (UN) after New Delhi. abstained of a Security Council vote.
India is currently at the top UN body but, along with China and the United Arab Emirates, failed to vote on a resolution on Friday deploring Russia’s “aggression” against Ukraine and demanding the immediate withdrawal of its troops.
Russia vetoed the resolution using its power as a permanent member of the council.
In a Twitter post on Saturday, Zelensky said he had spoken to Modi and told him that “more than 100,000 invaders are on our land.”
“Stop the assailant together!” she tweeted.
Despite being a democracy and a member of the Quad group with Australia, Japan and the US, India has not explicitly condemned Moscow’s actions or called them an invasion.
Instead, he has repeatedly referred to “developments” in Ukraine.
The Indian Ministry of Foreign Affairs published a statement later on Saturday, calling it a “conflict situation” and saying Modi had “reiterated his call for an immediate cessation of violence and a return to dialogue.”
The Indian leader also called on Ukrainian authorities, who are fighting a Russian assault on the capital Kiev and other cities, for “facilitation… to quickly and safely evacuate Indian citizens,” the statement added.
New Delhi and Moscow were close during the Cold War, a relationship that endures to this day: Putin visited india late last year on a rare trip abroad, with Russia by far India’s largest arms supplier.
His position on events in Ukraine has raised concern in Washington, with White House press secretary Jen Psaki telling reporters Friday that “we continue to engage with Indians.”