G7 Summit: PM Modi in first face-to-face meeting with Ukrainian President Zelenskyy since Russian invasion

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi today held a bilateral meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on the sidelines of the G7 summit in Japan's Hiroshima. This is the first in-person meeting between the two leaders since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February last year. 

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi today held a bilateral meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on the sidelines of the G7 summit
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky during their bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the G7 summit. Photo courtesy: Twitter/@PMOIndia

PM Modi arrived in the Japanese city today morning to attend three sessions at the G7 summit as part of a tri-nation tour that will also take him to Papua New Guinea and Australia.

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

PM Modi met with US President Joe Biden and his UK counterpart Rishi Sunak ahead of the summit's working sessions as well. 

British PM Rishi Sunak and PM Narendra Modi share a hug as they meet in Hiroshima, Japan. Photo courtesy: Twitter/@RishiSunak

In a joint statement, the G7 leaders condemned Russia's invasion of Ukraine and reiterated their commitment to stand against the war.

"At our meeting today in Hiroshima, we, the leaders of the G7, reaffirmed our commitment to stand together against Russia's illegal, unjustifiable, and unprovoked war of aggression against Ukraine. We condemn, in the strongest terms, Russia’s manifest violation of the Charter of the United Nations (UN) and the impact of Russia’s war on the rest of the world," read the G7 Leaders’ Statement on Ukraine. 

Ukraine's First Deputy Foreign Minister Emine Dzhaparova had visited India last month, in the first high-level trip to India from Ukraine after the conflict began in the eastern European country; she handed over a letter from President Zelensky to be delivered to PM Modi.

PM Modi has maintained that the Russia-Ukraine conflict can only be resolved through dialogue and diplomacy, and that "India is ready to contribute to any peace efforts."

Earlier today, in an interview with Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun, when asked about his view on Russia's invasion of Ukraine, and how India responds to negative reactions regarding its abstention from voting on UN resolutions and increased oil imports from Russia, PM Modi said India advocates for dialogue and diplomacy to resolve disputes and prioritise the well-being of people affected by rising costs of essentials.