Emphasising for a closer cooperation between Kyiv and New Delhi, visiting Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Emine Dzhaparova, called India a ‘Vishwaguru’, which is also home to some of the spiritual gurus, and suggested how India can play a bigger role in the ongoing war.
Emine Dzhaparova said, “Ukraine really wants India to come closer to it. We had different pages in history but now Ukraine is gaining independence. We are now capable of being the subject, not the object”.
The Ukrainian Minister, who is the first official to visit India since the start of the Ukraine war in February of last year, made her views at a think tank in New Delhi. She also said that it’s time to restart the relationship and that both countries have a better and deeper relationship.
“India is witnessing visionary changes, and it may take some time for it to build new relations with Ukraine, and the ties should be based on a “pragmatic and balanced approach”, said the Minister.
She added, “Our President has been constantly saying that we have to fight for our rights without stepping on the rights of others. India in many ways has a lot in common with Ukraine. There is huge and untapped potential in our bilateral relations. It is only a start in our dialogue”.
During the interaction, Emine Dzhaparova said that India, through its G20 presidency, can spotlight the crisis in Ukraine by inviting Ukrainian officials to the G-20 events and summit, which will be held in September and that his President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will be happy to address.
“Our expectations are quite clear. We believe that discussion about the economy and future economy, the economic situation in the world is not possible without the discussion about the repercussions of the war of Russia against Ukraine”, said the Minister.
“Because it has an impact on the economic growth and to the economies of G20. So, our message to India is to consider the participation of Ukraine officials at the events of G20, be it side events or the summit, the one on the parliament level, or the September summit that will take place in New Delhi. I believe that my President will also be happy to speak up on behalf of the Ukrainian people”, she added.
Emine Dzhaparova said, “Today India plays a very important role in the world. The presidency of G20 brings additional responsibility. India may take this leadership by involving Ukraine in its agenda and helping Ukraine to bring its story. People-to-people contact is the best way to communicate”.
Stressing the fact that Ukraine’s relationship with Pakistan ‘is not directed against India’s interests’, she pointed out that her country’s military ties with Islamabad began in the 90s.
“The relationship with Pakistan was never directed against the relationship with India. I know that there are some sensitive messages about military contracts, but let me reiterate that we had contracts since the 90s..two decades ago”, said the Minister.
Referring to Crimea which was annexed by Russia in 2014, the Minister also said that the Crimea episode has a lesson for India as well which ‘also has a difficult neighbourhood with China and Pakistan’ and added that whenever impunity happens and if it is not stopped, it becomes bigger”.
Her comments could be seen as referring to India’s territorial disputes with China and Pakistan.
Dzhaparova also hoped that Indian officials, including National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, who visited Moscow in February and held talks with President Vladimir Putin, would also visit Kyiv.
“We expect the visit of Ajit Doval. Russia has more time to make visits. We are facing a war. We have to defend. Sometimes you may want to do something but can’t. My visit is a mark of friendship, for a better relationship with India, but it requires reciprocity. We would be happy to welcome Indian officials to Kyiv,” said the Minister.
Emine Dzhaparova added, “Now people of Ukraine closely watch the comments of different leaders as well as PM Modi and the travels of National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval. When he went to Moscow three times, of course, it’s not a question if he would come to Kyiv. We would be happy to welcome leaders and officials of India in Kyiv”.
Ukraine’s First Deputy Foreign Minister Emine Dzhaparova, earlier in the day met with Minister of State for External Affairs and Culture Meenakshi Lekhi and also held a crucial meeting with the officials of India and the EU.
(with inputs from ANI)