India is uniquely placed to play the role of an intermediary between Ukraine and Russia. India has the capabilities and experience to play a meaningful role in ending the war.

  1. India strongly advocates “a return to dialogue and diplomacy”.
  2. India’s multi-alignment strategy can benefit from a position that stresses neutrality by maintaining a balanced engagement with both Russia and Ukraine and proactively supports the mediation process
  3. India is an influential global player
  4. Prime Minister Modi is one of the most powerful and respected leaders of the world
  5. India has a privileged partnership with Russia
  6. India is one of the few countries that enjoy good will in both Washington and Moscow.
  7. India, has adopted a neutral stance from the beginning of the war
  8. Although India has abstained from most UN resolutions damning Russia, New Delhi has also strived to maintain good relations with Ukraine.
  9. India wields the presidency of G-20, the world’s most influential bloc.
  10. If India intends to maintain a balanced relationship with Russia, it should not be concerned about the possibility of Russia’s reprisals for engaging with Ukrainian policymakers.

Moving ahead

Moving ahead, India could adopt an informal approach to mediation similar to involving non-interference, ‘quiet diplomacy’, discreet negotiations, and informal channels,  so that it can secure its own national interests while also acting as a mediator. India could potentially engage with minilateral forums such as I2U2 on the sidelines of the dialogue and even include other members of the G20 like Turkey on the negotiating table to broker peace.

For Ukraine, India continues to have tight ties with the top levels of the Russian government and many contend that it is improbable that Ukraine presently views India as a player who could aid in the cessation of hostilities. This is because Ukrainians are a little sceptical about India because, first, India continues to purchase Russian oil, which the Ukrainians claim is used to fund the violence in their nation. Second, India continues to abstain from voting on resolutions that criticize Russia.

The Russian side, however, is expressing more confidence in India, as it has praises the country. India  too, has praised Russia and called it a "steady and time-tested partner." Despite the state of the war, the bilateral relationship has substantially strengthened. For instance, Russia now supplies 225 percent of all crude imports into India, surpassing both Iraq and Saudi Arabia as the nation's top oil suppliers. For Russia, India is an important country. If India sees to play that role which provides resolution of the problem... If India is with its position of a just and rational approach to international problems, India can play mediator between Moscow And Kyiv.


According to the New York Times, India played an important behind- the- scenes role in persuading Russia to accept a deal negotiated by the UN and Turkey to release large stocks of Ukrainian food grains in July 2022, and then encouraged Russia to back off in September when Russian soldiers shelled Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant. In addition, India has attempted to defuse the situation by speaking with the leaders of both countries over the phone and through a variety of open and backdoor routes. For instance, in September 2022, at the SCO summit, Prime Minister Modi urged President Vladimir Putin to put an end to the conflict by declaring that “today’s era is not one of war”. In addition, Prime Minister Modi spoke on the telephone with Ukrainian President Zelensky, during which he expressed India’s willingness to support any efforts to bring about peace.

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