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Media: Kuleba expected to visit India later in March

by Martin Fornusek March 19, 2024 10:43 AM 2 min read
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba speaks during a joint press conference with High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell (not pictured) on Oct. 2, 2023, in Kyiv. (Vitalii Nosach/Global Images Ukraine via Getty Images)
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Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba is expected to visit India later this month, marking his first trip to the country, The Hindu reported on March 19, citing an undisclosed diplomatic source.

The Kyiv Independent reached out to the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry for comment but has not received a reply at the time of the publication.

The news comes only days after Andriy Yermak, the head of Ukraine's Presidential Office, held a phone call with Indian National Security Advisor Ajit Doval to discuss preparations for the upcoming Global Peace Summit in Switzerland.

Kuleba also held a call with his Indian counterpart, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, in January, discussing the war and economic cooperation.

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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 very 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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