India’s statement comes amid Russia assembling some 100,000 troops on the border with Ukraine, prompting US President Joe Biden to warn there is a ‘definite possibility’ of an invasion next month.
NEW DELHI: India on Friday called for a peaceful resolution to the situation in Ukraine through sustained diplomatic efforts amid concerns over a possible Russian invasion of the Eastern European country.
The remarks by Foreign Ministry spokesman Arindam Bagchi were the first official statement from the Indian side on developments in Ukraine, which has become the main flashpoint in Moscow’s relations with the West.
Russia has mustered some 100,000 troops on the border with Ukraine, prompting US President Joe Biden to warn there is a “definite possibility” of an invasion next month. Although Russia has denied that it was planning an attack, NATO forces are ready to react in the event of such an eventuality.
“We call for a peaceful resolution of the situation through sustained diplomatic efforts for long-term peace and stability in the region and beyond,” Bagchi said in response to a question about the crisis in Ukraine during the interview. a weekly virtual press briefing.
“We have been following developments regarding Ukraine closely, including ongoing high-level talks between Russia and the United States. Our embassy in Kyiv is also monitoring local developments,” he said.
The Indian Embassy in Kyiv has requested all Indian nationals in Ukraine, including students, to register with the mission by January 31 so that there can be effective coordination and rapid dissemination of information. The mission also asked Indian nationals to follow the embassy’s website and Twitter and Facebook accounts for updates.
According to the embassy’s website, there are around 18,000 Indian students studying medicine and engineering at Ukrainian universities and a small Indian business community in Kyiv.
India had so far refrained from commenting on the situation in Ukraine given its close strategic relations with Russia and the United States. Foreign Minister Harsh Shringla was briefed last week by US Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman on Washington’s response to the crisis and “worrying Russian military buildup on Ukraine’s borders”.