India silent on Ukraine blacklisting three nationals

Sources say adding their names could be a mistake; Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s adviser justifies listing, threatens sanctions

Sources say adding their names could be a mistake; Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s adviser justifies listing, threatens sanctions

The mention of a center headed by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s National Security and Defense Council (NSDC), which has named Indian National Security Advisory Council (NSAB) Chairman PS Raghavan on a list of people allegedly “Russian propaganda” could have been a “mistake,” sources said, indicating the Ukrainian government needs to clarify its intentions given the potential impact on relations. However, a senior Ukrainian official justified the listing, calling the people on the list “unreserved agents of Russian influence” and threatening sanctions against them.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MEA) declined to comment on the Ukrainian government’s list, which first appeared on July 14 and was published this week in The wire. According to the report from the Center for Countering Disinformation, Mr. Raghavan, whom he mistakenly identified as a former Indian security official, responsible for implying that Ukraine was a cover for NATO in the conflict with Russia.

Mr Raghavan was recently reappointed by the government and is serving his third term as NSAB chief under NSA Ajit Doval.

All three Indians — Mr Raghavan, US-based author and former congressional adviser Sam Pitroda, and veteran journalist Saeed Naqvi, whose names were on it — have rejected the listing. mr. Raghavan, a former ambassador to Russia and a regular contributor to: The Hindu‘s columns said the allegation was too “ridiculous to deserve comment”. Mr Raghavan and Mr Pitroda were both invited to the same conference organized by a US-German think tank, the Schiller Institute, on Ukraine, and it is likely that their names have been added to the list, along with others in contact registered to participate. at the institute’s conference in April this year, and that recommended a more conciliatory approach to Russia by the European Union, the sources said. Mr Raghavan said he had not attended the online conference and that his name may have been added without any verification.

Speaking to author Kapil Kommireddi, who had briefly volunteered with the Ukrainian First Lady team, Mr. Zelensky, Mikhailo Podalyak, the list on Friday.

“Including certain people, including representatives of foreign states, in the ‘military illustration lists’ is absolutely justified because information is an extremely important part of the war as a whole,” Mr Podolyak told the author for a column that appeared in The print.

“Ukraine is constantly watching which public figures in the world are spreading Russia’s cannibalistic stories. If we record such facts, we consider these people as unreserved agents of Russian influence,” he added.

In a statement, the head of the Schiller Institute, Helga Zepp-LaRouche, whose name is also on the NSDC list, along with a few prominent members of the European Parliament and US lawmakers such as Tulsi Gabbard, said it appeared that Ukraine’s government report focused specifically on the institute, as 30 of the list of 78 on the list were speakers at their conferences.

“The Center’s ‘poor’ authors seem to suffer from the syndrome of belief in conspiracy theories, as they assume that such a wide range of speakers representing top institutions from around the world are all Putin agents and cannot think for themselves. said Mrs. Zepp-LaRouche.

Mr Naqvi said the columns he wrote criticizing NATO and Ukraine for “provoking” the war, suggesting that the Western narrative of the war’s progress was false, as well as an interview he held in May with Valery Fadeev, adviser to Russian President Vladimir Putin. probably earned the ire of the Ukrainian government, and told The Hindu he stuck to his views.

The Ukrainian embassy in Delhi did not respond to requests for comment. In a sudden move earlier this month, President Zelenskyy recalled his long-serving ambassador to India, Igor Polikha, along with four other ambassadors, ostensibly expressing displeasure at the state of ties with India.

Since the beginning of the Russian attack on Ukraine on February 24, the Modi government has refused to criticize Mr Putin or support any resolution condemning Russia’s actions, calling instead for a ceasefire and a return to direct talks between Russia and Ukraine. While Prime Minister Narendra Modi has twice telephoned the Ukrainian president during the evacuation of Indian students from the country, their last call was in March this year. By contrast, Mr. Modi has met with Russian President Vladimir Putin a number of times, most recently on July 1, and attended the BRICS summit with Mr. Putin virtually in July.

Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar also met Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on the sidelines of the SCO conference in Tashkent, tweeting Saturday that his “sideline conversation with Russia’s FM Sergey Lavrov was helpful”.

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