Ukrainian Official Clarifies Remarks on India, China, and Turkiye’s Global Roles

Ukrainian Official Clarifies Remarks on India, China, and Turkiye’s Global Roles

Following a statement that garnered international attention regarding the “intellectual potential” of India and China, a senior Ukrainian official, Mykhailo Podolyak, has issued a clarification. He now asserts that India, China, and Turkiye are “justified” in playing more prominent roles on the global stage.

Mykhailo Podolyak, an Adviser to the Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, made these remarks shortly after Ukraine’s foreign ministry expressed disappointment in the Joint Declaration made during the New Delhi G20 summit.

In his statement, Podolyak emphasized that countries like Turkiye, India, and China have valid reasons to aspire to larger roles in the global arena. He cited historical, economic, cultural, scientific, and political factors as contributing to their significance. He also highlighted that their global roles have been more extensive than Russia’s. However, he emphasized the importance of recognizing the broader global context beyond regional interests.

Mykhailo Podolyak gained international attention in early 2022 during negotiations between Ukrainian and Russian teams in Belarus’ Gomel region and Belovezhskaya Pushcha. These negotiations aimed to ensure the safe evacuation of foreigners, including Indians, and Ukrainians who had sought refuge in neighboring countries.

The recent controversy erupted when Podolyak remarked that countries like China and India lacked the ability to fully analyze the consequences of their actions due to what he described as their “low intellectual potential.” He cited their investments in science and India’s recent lunar rover mission as examples but questioned their comprehension of the modern world.

These comments, initially reported by Russian state-run Sputnik news agency, generated widespread criticism from people in India and other developing nations. As of now, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs has not responded to Podolyak’s statement.