India says Ukraine seeking medical, war recovery assistance

Kyiv has invited Indian companies to help rebuild the country battered by Russia’s invasion, New Delhi says.

India Ukraine
First Deputy Foreign Minister of Ukraine Emine Dzhaparova at an event in New Delhi [Altaf Qadri/AP]

India says Ukraine has asked for more medicines and medical equipment and has invited Indian companies to help rebuild the country.

Ukraine made its request during a four-day visit to India by First Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Emine Dzhaparova, which ended on Wednesday, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.

Dzhaparova’s visit was the first by a high-ranking official from Ukraine since Russia launched its invasion of her country in February last year.

Dzhaparova held talks with India’s junior foreign minister, Meenakshi Lekhi, and handed over a letter from President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the ministry said.

The statement gave no details about what the letter said.

“Rebuilding infrastructure in Ukraine could be an opportunity for Indian companies,” the ministry cited Dzhaparova as saying.

India Ukraine
Dzhaparova attends an event titled ‘Russia’s war in Ukraine: Why the world should care’, at the Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA) in New Delhi [Anushree Fadnavis/Reuters]

India has sent humanitarian aid to Ukraine since the beginning of the war, including drugs and medical equipment. India also plans to supply school buses to Ukraine, the Indian ministry said.

Dzhaparova proposed that rebuilding infrastructure in Ukraine could be an opportunity for Indian companies, its statement said.

India “can play a bigger and greater role” and Ukraine would “welcome any effort that is directed at resolving the war”, she said in a speech on Tuesday at the Indian Council of World Affairs, a think tank in New Delhi.

The two countries agreed to hold their next round of foreign ministry consultations in Kyiv on a mutually convenient date, the Indian foreign ministry said.

India has not been as critical of its old ally Russia over its invasion of Ukraine as some other countries, and it has increased its purchases of discounted Russian oil while maintaining high-level contacts with Moscow.

India has sought a diplomatic solution to the conflict while Modi, in comments seen as mildly critical of Russian President Vladimir Putin, told him in September that now was “not an era of war”.

Dzhaparova, in comments to the media during her visit, said Ukraine wanted India to be more involved in helping resolve the conflict and Ukraine looked forward to welcoming Modi to Kyiv “one day”.

The diplomat made her visit to India at a time when it holds the rotating presidency of the Group of 20 (G20).

Dzhaparova said Kyiv expected India to invite Ukrainian officials to the bloc’s events and Zelenskyy is eager to address a G20 summit in New Delhi in September as he did by video during the group’s most recent summit in Indonesia.

The Indian ministry did not refer to these requests in its statement.

India does not want the war to overshadow G20 events, Indian officials have said, but the first two G20 ministerial events that India hosted, in February and March, saw rifts over the war between Group of Seven nations on one side and Russia and China on the other.

Source: News Agencies