Volodymyr Zelenskiy speaks with Narendra Modi via phone line in Kyiv on Monday. Reuters
President Volodymyr Zelensky on Monday said he sought India's help with implementing a "peace formula" in a phone call with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The conversation comes at a time when India is seeking to strengthen trade relations with Moscow while Western nations introduce new measures to limit Russia's funding of the war.
"I had a phone call with PM Narendra Modi and wished a successful G20 presidency," Zelensky wrote on Twitter. "It was on this platform that I announced the peace formula and now I count on India's participation in its implementation."
Zelensky asked the Group of 20 major economies last month to adopt Ukraine's 10-point peace formula and to end the war. India holds the G20 presidency for a year. Zelensky conveyed his best wishes for India's presidency of G20.
The Indian government said in statement late on Monday that the two leaders discussed opportunities for strengthening bilateral cooperation.
"The Prime Minister explained the main priorities of India's G20 Presidency, including giving a voice to the concerns of developing nations on issues like food and energy security."
Modi also "strongly reiterated" his call for an immediate end to hostilities in Ukraine and conveyed India's support for any peace efforts.
Modi requested Zelensky to facilitate arrangements for the continued education of Indian students who had to return from Ukraine earlier this year.
In a phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier this month, Modi reiterated his call for dialogue and diplomacy to end the conflict in Ukraine.
In a separate development, Moscow said on Monday it had foiled a new Ukrainian drone attack on a strategic bomber military base hundreds of kilometres from their joint border, as Kyiv called for Russia's ouster from the United Nations.
"Ukraine calls on the member states of the UN... to deprive the Russian Federation of its status as a permanent member of the UN Security Council and to exclude it from the UN as a whole," the foreign ministry said in a statement.
The statement said that Russia "illegally occupies the seat of the USSR in the UN Security Council" since the break-up of the Soviet Union in 1991.
"From a legal and political point of view, there can be only one conclusion: Russia is an usurper of the Soviet Union's seat in the UN Security Council," the ministry added.
"Three decades of its illegal presence in the UN have been marked by wars and seizures of other countries' territories," the statement said.
The five permanent members of the 15-seat UN Security Council have veto power over UN resolutions.
Russia said it had downed the drone at Engels, a base for the country's strategic aircraft that Kyiv says have been used to strike Ukraine. Three servicemen were killed by falling debris, regional authorities said.
The same day, Russia's domestic security agency said it killed four Ukrainian "saboteurs," who allegedly attempted to enter Russia via a border region.
Moscow has accused pro-Kyiv forces of targeting Russian military sites and civilian infrastructure, including blowing up a bridge linking annexed Crimea to Russia.
Russia's defence ministry said on Monday it downed a Ukrainian drone at its Engels airfield in the southern Saratov region located more than 600 kilometres from the border with Ukraine.
Zelensky announced the sacking of Ukraine's ambassadors to Germany, India, the Czech Republic, Norway and Hungary and said new candidates were being readied for the positions. "This rotation is a normal part of diplomatic practice."
He urged the West to give Ukraine tanks, planes and missiles to help fend off the Russian forces, which the Kyiv government said were increasingly targeting fuel and food depots.
“From the beginning, I have insisted on talks with the Russian president,” Zelensky said. “It’s not that I want (to meet him), it’s that I have to meet him so as to settle this conflict by diplomatic means.
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A number of senior officials and members of the UAE Embassy in the Sultanate of Oman were also among the recipients.
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