India denies exporting artillery shells to Ukraine

The ministry of external affairs denied reports that India had exported artillery shells to Ukraine. This came after reports in news publications and social media claimed that Russia had traced shells used by Ukraine’s military to an Indian supplier.

“We can categorically say that we have not sent any of these artillery ammunitions to Ukraine. We have not exported, we have not sent,” said Randhir Jaiswal, the official spokesperson of the ministry.

The reports were featured by agencies linked to the Russian government. 

India has thus far avoided aligning with a particular side since the Ukraine war began in February 2022. While India has sent humanitarian aid to Ukraine and has participated in aid conferences aimed at rebuilding Ukraine, it has refrained from condemning Russia for its invasion of the country. India has also continued its deep energy and defence relationship with Russia.

New Delhi has kept up engagements with both sides. External affairs minister S. Jaishankar completed a five-day visit to Russia in December with a focus on improving the trade balance between the two countries and signing agreements related to nuclear power plants. On Wednesday, Jaishankar also spoke with Ukraine’s foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba regarding the ongoing conflict.

“My first call in 2024 was with @DrSJaishankar on Ukrainian-Indian relations. I informed my counterpart of Russia’s recent escalation of terror and mass air attacks, which caused civilian suffering and the destruction,” Kuleba posted on social media platform X.

The two sides discussed plans for bilateral cooperation, Jaishankar stated after the conversation. The ministers also decided to hold India-Ukraine inter-governmental commission meetings soon, Kuleba added. The two sides have not held such a meeting since 2018.

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Published: 04 Jan 2024, 09:55 PM IST

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