Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday separately spoke to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin amid the ongoing war between the two countries.

On his phone call with Zelenskyy, Modi emphasised on the need for the evacuation of remaining Indian nationals in Ukraine. The prime minister also thanked Ukrainian authorities for their assistance in evacuating more than 20,000 Indian citizens from the war-torn country, according to a statement issued by the prime minister’s office.

“President Zelenskyy briefed the Prime Minister [Modi] in detail about the conflict situation,” the statement said. “Prime Minister [Modi] expressed deep concern about the ongoing conflict and resultant humanitarian crisis.”

During his conversation with Putin, Modi expressed concern about Indian students stuck in Sumy city of northeastern Ukraine. Union Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan on Monday said that 600 Indian students were still stranded in Sumy, while 3,000 of them are in neighbouring countries of Ukraine, ANI reported.

Putin briefed Modi about Russia’s measures on creating humanitarian corridors to help civilians exit besieged cities of Ukraine. However, soon after the phone call between Modi and Putin, Ukraine declined the Russian Army’s offer of setting up evacuation corridors in cities of Kyiv, Kharkob, Sumy and Mariupol, Reuters reported, citing a spokesperson for Zelenskyy.

Putin briefed Modi on the status of negotiations between Ukraine and Russia. The prime minister expressed hope that the negotiations would lead to cessation of the conflict and suggested that the Russian president should hold a “direct conversation” with Zelenskyy.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine that began on February 24 entered its twelfth day on Monday. Putin has described the invasion as a “special military operation” aimed at dislodging “neo-Nazis” ruling Ukraine.

According to the United Nations human rights office, at least 351 civilians have been killed and over 6,00,000 have fled Ukraine since the invasion began. On the Russian side, over 498 of its troops have died, according to the country’s military. One Indian student also died during shelling in Kharkiv city on March 1.

India has been evacuating its citizens through countries neighbouring Ukraine after Kyiv closed down its airspace for civilian aircraft following the Russian offensive.