As the tension between Russia and Ukraine escalates after Russia announced war, India’s stand on the crisis is neutral, said minister of state (MoS) for external affairs.
The news: The country hopes for a peaceful solution to the conflict, Rajkumar Ranjan Singh said.
- Earlier, Russian forces attacked targets across Ukraine after President Vladimir Putin ordered an operation to “demilitarize” the country, prompting international condemnation and a US threat of further “severe sanctions” on Moscow, sending markets tumbling worldwide.
- Russia launched a barrage of missile, artillery and air attacks early Thursday, triggering the worst security crisis Europe has witnessed in decades.
- Ukraine’s Interior Ministry warned that the capital, Kyiv, was being targeted and urged citizens to go to shelters. Ukraine’s border guard said that it was being shelled from five regions, including from Crimea in the south and Belarus to the north, and that Russian forces had crossed into the country.
- Putin stated in a nationally televised address before the offensive that Russia did not intend to “occupy” its neighbour, but that the action was essential because the US and its allies had broken Russia’s “red lines” by expanding the NATO alliance. President Joe Biden branded Putin’s action “an unwarranted and unjustified strike,” adding that the “world will hold Russia accountable.”
- Ambassador of Ukraine to India, Dr Igor Polikha on Thursday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to speak with Russian President Vladimir Putin of the latter country’s all-out invasion of Ukraine. Calling Modi one of the most “powerful and respected” leaders in the world, Polikha said Putin “at least should think over” if the Indian PM speaks with him. “I don’t know how many world leaders Putin may listen to but status of Modi ji makes me hopeful that in case of his strong voice, Putin at least should think over,” he told.
Meanwhile, Ambassador of India to Ukraine released a message for the people:
- “I am Partha Satpathy, the Ambassador of India to Ukraine. I am reaching out to you from Kyiv. Today early morning, we all woke up with the news that Ukraine is under attack. The situation is highly tense and very uncertain and this of course is causing a lot of anxiety. The air space is closed, railway schedules are in flux and roads are crammed. I would request everyone to stay calm and face the situation with fortitude. The Embassy continues to remain open and operate in Kyiv,” the message reads.
- “Under the circumstance, we have put out two advisories on the situation. I urge you to please stay wherever you are, in your familiar locations. Those who are in transit, please return to your familiar places of habitation. Those who are stranded here in Kyiv, please get in touch with your friends and colleagues in Kyiv, universities and other community members, so that you can temporarily lodge there. We have already reached out to the Indian Diaspora and have requested them to assist you to the best of their abilities,” it further added.
- “I am inundated with calls, so is the Embassy and we are doing our best to help. If there is a critical emergency, contact us on the emergency lines provided. Please follow our social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Website) for any updates that we will putting out. As of now, the Government of India, Ministry of External Affairs and the Embassy of India are seized the situation and working on a mission mode to find a solution to this difficult situation. I will reach out to you with more information.”