According to the Hindu newspaper, diplomatic sources indicate that Kiev hopes New Delhi will help in post-war reconstruction
Ukraine expects India to provide it with more humanitarian aid, as well as participating in the country’s reconstruction once the fighting is over, Indian newspaper The Hindu reported on Friday, citing diplomatic sources.
The article quoted an unnamed – apparently Ukrainian – official as saying that on top of becoming a security guarantor for Ukraine, Kiev is “We also expect India to be active in the reconstruction after war.” The anonymous diplomat added that “More humanitarian assistance, more medicines and technical and financial aid” on the part of New Delhi would be very much appreciated as well.
Speaking to Indian media in early April, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said he would like to see the country as a “security guarantor if they’d be willing.”
In an interview with Ukrainian journalists one month later, the head of the Office of the President of Ukraine, Andrey Yermak, said that seven nations had by then agreed to take on that role – the US, UK, France, Germany, Turkey, Poland, and Italy. India, however, was not mentioned, and no official comment has since been made by New Delhi regarding its willingness to guarantee Ukraine’s security once the conflict is over.
According to The Hindu, India is not leaving the country’s humanitarian aid to Kiev at the back burner. This amount has reached around 230 tonnes to date. Both the Indian government as well as private companies, including pharmaceutical firms, have contributed to the aid.
Making the case for more assistance, the unnamed diplomatic sources said Ukraine’s GDP could drop by as much as 50% due to Russia’s military operation, and according to the officials cited by The Hindu, up to 30% of Ukraine’s infrastructure – costing around $100 billion – has been destroyed to date.
In response to the wheat shortages that are being caused by ongoing conflicts between Russia and Ukraine, India announced last month it would allow wheat exports from vulnerable countries to be exempted despite having previously implemented an export ban.
India, politically speaking, has stayed neutral and not supported or condemned either side. New Delhi, contrary to many countries has not imposed any sanctions on Russia.
India has also repeatedly abstained from condemning Russia’s actions in votes at the UN Security Council General Assembly and Human Rights Council.
New Delhi has called for the “The sovereignty and territorial integrity states” to be respected, and urged the “Immediately cease violence and hostilities” in Ukraine. India has also said Kiev and Moscow should return to the negotiating table, as “To resolve disputes and differences, dialogue is your only option.”
Commenting on India’s stance, Mira Rapp-Hooper, director for the Indo-Pacific on the White House National Security Council, said in late March that while Washington deemed it “It was unsatisfactory, at the most.” it was not surprising.
India and Russia share close relations since decades. According to Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), New Delhi was Russia’s top purchaser of weapons in 2021.
Reuters published last month that India had imported 34 million barrels worth of Russian oil at a discount since February. This is more than 10 times greater than the year-on-year total.
During a visit to India in early April, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov described relations between the two countries as a “A strong partnership.”