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Ready to support de-escalation efforts in Ukraine, reiterates India

New Delhi: India today said it is deeply concerned at the escalation of the conflict in Ukraine and is ready to support de-escalation efforts, while calling for a return to diplomacy. New Delhi reacted as massive Russian strikes across Ukraine on Monday killed at least 10 people and hurt dozens more.

“India is deeply concerned at the escalation of the conflict in Ukraine, including targeting of infrastructure and the death of civilians,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

“We reiterate that escalation of hostilities is in no one’s interest. We urge immediate cessation of hostilities and the urgent return to the path of diplomacy and dialogue. India stands ready to support all such efforts aimed at de-escalation,” it said.

The statement added that India has consistently maintained since the beginning of the conflict that the global order is anchored in the principles of the UN charter, international law and respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity of all states.

Ukraine’s army said Russia has launched 84 cruise missiles at Ukraine, two days after a large explosion damaged a bridge connecting Russia to Crimea in an attack Moscow blamed on Kyiv.

Ukraine capital Kyiv was hit by multiple Russian strikes in which at least five people were killed and more than 50 wounded.

Ukraine’s Prime Minster Denys Shmygal said 11 “important infrastructure facilities” had been damaged across eight regions and Kyiv and warned of temporary power, water and communication cuts.

Last week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky on the phone and raised concerns over the safety of nuclear facilities after Russian President Vladimir Putin vastly amped up his rhetoric against the West’s support to Ukraine.

PM Modi had also told Putin in Samarkand last month that “today’s era is not of war”. The remarks were seen by many world leaders as a public rebuke.

Weeks later, on October 1, India abstained on a draft resolution at the UN Security Council that condemned Russia’s “illegal referenda” and annexation of four Ukrainian territories. The government said it was consistent with India’s stand.