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  Opinion   Edit  21 Mar 2024  AA Edit | Will Modi’s peacemaker role help over Ukraine?

AA Edit | Will Modi’s peacemaker role help over Ukraine?

Published : Mar 22, 2024, 12:05 am IST
Updated : Mar 22, 2024, 12:05 am IST

India Positioned as Neutral Peace Broker in Russian-Ukrainian Conflict

Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (PTI File Image)
 Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (PTI File Image)

India, as a well-meaning mediator, ready to play the honest broker for peace was acknowledged by both the Russian and Ukrainian Presidents when Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to both leaders whose countries are at war.

India’s neutral position on the war in Ukraine after the Russian invasion of February 2022 and its delivery of humanitarian aid to Ukraine may have seemed to have been at odds with the position of the West, which has supplied weapons while committing massive financial aid.

That neutrality, allied with its place in history as a peace seeking nation, may have led to the combatants of today in former Soviet states recognising India’s genuine bid to play the peacemaker.

Prime Minister Modi was considered a friend enough to have been able to tell Mr Vladimir Putin face to face that “this is not the era of war”, which is why his call for an early end to the conflict and its desire to do everything to support a peaceful solution now seems to have struck a chord.   

The ground realities may be sharply different from the good intentions of those nations calling for peace to the war that has been going on for over two years at an immense human cost in terms of soldiers lost and injured in combat from both sides.

Mr Putin, in the wake of his election for a fifth term, has made it clear that his priority was to continue the invasion of Ukraine until Kyiv and the West are forced to agree to a peace deal on his terms.

In fact, even as Mr Modi was speaking to the Russian President, its air force may have been readying for early Thursday’s bombing of Kyiv as retaliation for the irritants in the form of drones that Ukraine and its proxies aimed at Russia during the presidential elections.

The Swiss offer of a summer peace summit on Ukraine has so far not indicated they would be calling for the participation of Russia, which is why both Russia and China have ridiculed the idea of peace talks without one of the parties.

Prime Minister Modi might be nearing the tail end of his second term, but, fortified by the confidence that the BJP-led NDA may come back to power, he may have begun this peace initiative of speaking to both sides on the same day.

If Mr Modi can so much as convince Mr Putin to let India initiate peace talks or get Russia to agree to attend the Swiss peace summit that is being organised at Ukraine’s request to be based on Mr Zelenskyy’s 10-point peace plan, Mr Modi might yet create the scope for a crowning glory for his role as a leader who shares a high degree of personal warmth with many leaders on the global stage.

Mr Putin’s military plans are thought to be fixed on creating a larger security zone with Russia claiming parts of Kharkiv to add to the eastern and southern regions of Ukraine that it already controls before he would even consider Russian participation in peace talks.

Intermediation is a far-from-simple art but India’s stress on dialogue and diplomacy as the way forward might well be the key to try and end one of two raging conflicts the world is witnessing currently which are the biggest impediments to a comprehensive, just and lasting peace for the good of the world.

Tags: aa edit, prime minister narendra modi, russian-ukraine war