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The backstory: When Russia announced a special military operation into Ukraine in February last year, over 140 countries condemned the move, five supported it, and 35 didn't take a stance on the situation. Out of the 35, India and China were included. Meanwhile, India has become one of the largest buyers of canceled, discounted Russian oil, with imports peaking in June and July. But to make India's stance even murkier, its leader asked Putin in September to move toward peace.
More recently: When world leaders all met up in Indonesia for the G20 summit, they, including Indian Prime Minister Modi, issued a collective statement condemning the war. Around the same time, Ukraine President Zelenskiy presented a 10-point peace plan to end the conflict. Then, this month, India took over the presidency of the G20 for the next year.
The development; On Monday, Zelenskiy and Modi finally talked about the war, with Zelenskiy asking Modi for help in getting the ball rolling with its peace formula. This comes as India is seeking to boost trade ties with Russia. Both countries are hopeful for future collaboration, but it's still not clear whether or not India will take a strong stance on the war apart from wishing for it to be over.
"The prime minister [Modi] explained the main priorities of India's G20 presidency, including giving a voice to the concerns of developing nations on issues like food and energy security," the Indian government said in a statement.
"The two leaders discussed opportunities for strengthening bilateral cooperation. PM requested Ukraine authorities to facilitate arrangements for the continued education of Indian students who had to return from Ukraine earlier this year," said a statement from Prime Minister Modi's office.
"I had a phone call with @PMOIndia Narendra Modi and wished a successful G20 presidency. It was on this platform that I announced the peace formula and now I count on India's participation in its implementation. I also thanked for humanitarian aid and support in the UN," tweeted Ukraine President Zelenskiy. "I also thanked for humanitarian aid and support in the UN."