Ukrainian minister seeks G20 participation during India visit

New Delhi, Apr 11 (EFE).- Ukraine’s deputy foreign minister, Emine Dzhaparova, on Tuesday called for a seat in the G20 meetings for her country during a visit to India – which is hosting a series of events as the chair of the bloc this year – in order to highlight the Ukrainian people’s struggle against the Russian invasion, even as New Delhi has maintained a neutral stance towards the conflict.

“There is one message with which I have come to India. Ukraine really wants India and Ukraine to be closer. Yes, there is a history between us. But we want to start a new relationship with India,” Dzhaparova said during an event organized by the Indian Council of World Affairs, as part of her official visit.

Ukraine’s participation in G20, a group where Kyiv has never been an invitee or a member, will help highlight the conflict, the minister said, adding that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy would be happy to represent the people of his country during the G20 leaders’ summit, set to be held in New Delhi in September.

Zelenskyy had been invited to the 2022 G20 leaders’ summit in Bali, although he ended up addressing it through videoconferencing.

This is the first visit by a high-ranking Ukrainian official to India since the start of the conflict, even as New Delhi has maintained a neutral stance despite repeated calls by the West to oppose its long-standing ally Russia and distance itself from it.

Since the beginning of her visit – set to end on Wednesday – Dzhaparova has stressed India’s potential role as a mediator in the conflict.

She met several high officials of the Indian government, such as foreign secretary Sanjay Verma and the junior minister for foreign affairs and culture, Meenakshi Lekhi, in an attempt to boost bilateral ties.

The Ukrainian minister said it was important to restart ties at a time when India was also at a different juncture and had issues with its neighbors such as Pakistan and China, while reiterating Kyiv’s appeal to New Delhi to take a more pragmatic approach and support Ukraine in the war. EFE


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