1. The developments in the last one year have shown that the Ukraine crisis is not merely a regional crisis. The conflict has, of course, deeply impacted the European security architecture and its immediate stakeholders but it has had several implications for geo-politics and geo-economics. Food, Energy and Fertilizer prices have risen sharply and supply chains have been hit particularly hard just when economies across the world, especially in the Global South, had only recently begun to recover from the disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Furthermore, the impact of Ukraine conflict has been felt far and wide including in the Indo Pacific which has been experiencing rising tensions in the backdrop of intensifying US-China strategic rivalry.
2. In this sense, the Ukraine crisis has emerged as a point of inflection for the emerging World Order. Like many other think tanks, ICWA has been analyzing Ukraine related developments and their consequences. We are, therefore, very much looking forward to the talk by Deputy Foreign Minister of Ukraine.
3. The bio profile of Minister Dzhaparova shows the vast experience that she brings with her. She is a journalist, editor, television presenter, diplomat and politician. She has a degree in international relations and has many distinguished awards to her credit.
4. Her current responsibilities are equally impressive. She is in charge for the coordination of policy planning, public diplomacy, international organizations, including the EU and NATO, the department for Ukrainians worldwide and humanitarian cooperation as well as the Department for international law.
5. Ukraine is an important partner for India. We share friendly relations marked by multifaceted cooperation. Over the last 30 years of establishing diplomatic relations, bilateral cooperation between the two countries has made significant progress in the areas of trade, education, culture and defence. Both are important trading partners and share strong people to people ties.
6. As regards India’s position on the ongoing conflict is concerned, we firmly believe that this is not an “era of War” and have called for the immediate “cessation of hostilities”, the need to return to dialogue and diplomacy to resolve the conflict. India shares good relations with Europe, Ukraine as well as Russia and advocates for peace and dialogue/diplomacy among its partners. India has maintained a principled and independent approach on the ongoing crisis. India has consistently underlined that respect for principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity of States as stated in the UN Charter are essential pillars of the international order.
7. India has called for avoidance of civilian casualties and destruction of civilian infrastructure and has provided humanitarian assistance comprising medicines and medical equipment to Ukraine. We are grateful to the Government of Ukraine for its facilitation during the evacuation of Indian students at the start of hostilities.
8. Your Excellency, the world is watching the situation in Ukraine with concern and, in this context, we look forward to hearing your assessment of the crisis and your thoughts with respect to the likely trajectory in the near future.
May I now invite First Deputy Foreign Minister of Ukraine to deliver her talk.