Ukraine envoy Igor Polikha today “pleaded” for India’s intervention in the conflict with Russia that started this morning, saying a “strong voice” of India might make Russian President Vladimir Putin “think”. While the envoy heaped praise on PM Modi and the country’s position as a “strong global leader”. There were also words of strong criticism for the stance of the foreign ministry, which ended with him saying they are “deeply dissatisfied”.
“I’m following all the reports on the site of your ministry and the latest advisory to your citizens in Ukraine,” Mr Polikha told reporters in New Delhi today.
“The recommendations and statement of your Ministry of External affairs — that was India is closely following the development of events. We are deeply dissatisfied with this position. What does this mean — closely following? Now, 50 people have been killed. When hundreds and thousands will be killed in this case, what will happen? Will follow more closely?” the Ukraine envoy said.
“We are expecting a much more favourable attitude of the Indian government in this crisis situation. It is the moment of truth. The moment of destiny… We are waiting, asking pleading for the assistance of India,” he added.
Before that, the envoy made it clear that Ukraine expects India to be more actively engaged in view of its “special, privileged, strategic relation with Russia”.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi “is one of the most powerful, respected world leaders… I don’t know how many word leaders Putin may listen to. But the status of Modi-ji makes me hopeful that in case of his s strong voice, Putin at least should think over”.
Putin ordered a “special military operation” this morning after weeks of escalated tension between Russia and its smaller neighbour.
Russian tanks and other heavy equipment crossed into several northern regions, separatist controlled areas in eastern Ukraine which Russia has formally recognised as independent nations and the Kremlin-annexed peninsula of Crimea in the south.
India has expressed “deep concern” and called for de-escalation of hostilities at the United Nations, saying unless it is checked, it can “spiral into a major crisis” that can severely destabilize the region.
India’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, TS Tirumurti said, “We call for immediate de-escalation and refraining from any further action that could contribute to a worsening of the situation”.
Polikha said India should be “much more actively engaged, given the privileged relation India has with Russia”.
This, he said, is “not just for our safety, but of your own citizen’s safety too,” pointing to the 15,000-plus Indians currently living in Ukraine, whom the government is trying to evacuate.
With inputs from NDTV