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Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba attends the 2024 Munich Security Conference on Feb. 17, 2024, in Munich, Germany. (Johannes Simon/Getty Images)
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Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba is planning to visit India later this week, marking his first "first ever" trip to the country, he said on March 25.

A few days earlier, the media reported about Kuleba's expected visit to India in late March.

In his post on X, Ukraine's minister congratulated India on Holi, widely known as the Hindu spring festival of colors.

"Standing here in Kyiv, in front of Mahatma Gandhi's monument, I am also pleased to announce that this week I will pay my first ever visit to India," Kuleba said.

Emine Dzhaparova, Ukraine's first deputy foreign minister, paid a two-day visit to India in April 2023 to discuss strengthening cooperation between the two nations with Indian officials.

Kuleba held a call with his Indian counterpart, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, in January, discussing the war and economic cooperation. Later that month, Andriy Yermak, the head of Ukraine's Presidential Office, spoke to Indian National Security Advisor Ajit Doval to discuss preparations for the upcoming Global Peace Summit in Switzerland.

New Delhi has positioned itself as neutral in the Russia-Ukraine war, calling for a diplomatic solution while fostering close economic ties with Moscow. India has become one of the chief buyers of Russian oil following Western sanctions, although pressure from U.S. sanctions increasingly threatens this trade.

A potential complication in Indian-Russian relations is a suspicion that Moscow is luring and coercing Indian nationals to join its Armed Forces and fight against Ukraine. The Indian Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) announced on March 7 that it had busted a "major human trafficking network" that used false pretenses to entice Indian citizens for this purpose.

In spite of that, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was one of the world leaders who congratulated Vladimir Putin on his re-election during a recent presidential election, denounced by Kyiv and several Western leaders as unfair and rigged.

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky met Modi during a Group of Seven (G7) summit in Japan last May. During the meeting, the Indian prime minister conveyed "clear support for dialogue and diplomacy to find a way forward."

India identifies ‘major human trafficking network’ luring Indians to fight for Russia in Ukraine
The news came after multiple media reports said that Indian men who came to Russia for work or tourism were then coerced into joining the war against Ukraine.

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8:28 PM

FT: Russia may be gearing up for large-scale offensive against Ukraine.

Russian forces may be preparing for a large-scale offensive in late spring or summer, aiming to capture more land in Ukraine's partially-occupied Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia oblasts, the Financial Times reported on April 13, citing unnamed Ukrainian and Western officials.
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