Modi, Zelenskyy may hold bilateral meeting in Hiroshima

New Delhi: Senior diplomats of India and Ukraine are exploring the possibility of a bilateral meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on the sidelines of the G7 summit in Hiroshima, people familiar with the matter said on Friday.

If the meeting takes place, then it will be the first one between the two leaders after the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February last year.

Modi left for the Japanese city this morning to attend three sessions at the G7 summit as part of his three-nation tour that will also take him to Papua New Guinea and Australia.

Besides attending the summit, Modi will also hold a serious of bilateral meetings with a number of global leaders including Prime Minister of Japan Kishida Fumio.

The people cited above said there is a possibility of a meeting between Modi and Zelenskyy on Saturday but there is no finality on it yet.

“Both sides are engaged in discussions to finalise the proposal,” said one of the people.

The Ukrainian president is attending the summit following an invitation by Japan, the current chair of the powerful grouping.

Ukraine’s First Deputy Foreign Minister Emine Dzhaparova visited India last month, in first high-level trip to India from Ukraine after the conflict began in the eastern European country.

During her visit, Dzhaparova handed over a letter to Minister of State for External Affairs Meenakshi Lekhi. The letter was written to Modi by Zelenskyy.

Since the Ukraine conflict began, Modi spoke to Russian President Vladimir Putin as well as Zelenskyy a number of times.

In a phone conversation with Zelenskyy on October 4 last year, Modi said there can be “no military solution” and that India is ready to contribute to any peace efforts.

India has not yet condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine and it has been maintaining that the crisis must be resolved through diplomacy and dialogue.