New Delhi: New Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra has said that India has always maintained that there should be a “cessation of hostilities in Ukraine”, and the path to the resolution of the Russia-Ukraine crisis goes through diplomacy and dialogue.
“…. these strands pretty much capture what we have to say in Ukraine,” Kwatra said at a special briefing on Sunday (May 1) on the eve of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s three-day visit to European countries-Germany, Denmark and France.
Answering a series of questions on the Ukraine issue vis-à-vis the PM’s visit to Europe, the Foreign Secretary said, “I must repeat and reiterate that the principal focus of the visits and discussions is to structure and strengthen bilateral partnership across a range of areas and of course exchange perspective on the Ukraine issues also.”
He maintained, “It would not be correct for me to comment on what each of the countries of Europe, how they look at the Ukraine issue.”
But he asserted, “I think insofar as India’s position on Ukraine is concerned, it has been amplified, made clear, enunciated in great detail in multiple fora.”
To another question, he said, “…as far as Ukraine is concerned, mainly it is the end of hostilities and solving the problem through diplomacy and dialogue which is our position on Ukraine, which for a long time the government has been putting it in one or the other forum.”
On the first leg of his visit to Berlin in Germany on May 2, Prime Minister Modi will meet German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.
Mr Kwatra said the two leaders would co-chair the sixth edition of the India-Germany Inter-Governmental Consultations.
On May 3, the PM will travel to Copenhagen next on an official visit at the invitation of Prime Minister of Denmark, Mette Frederiksen.
This will be PM Modi’s first visit to Denmark but his third summit-level interaction with the Danish Prime Minister.
On the last leg of the tour, the Prime Minister will briefly stop over in Paris and meet French President Emmanuel Macron. Mr Modi’s visit to France will provide an opportunity to carry forward the high-level engagement between the two countries post the French Presidential elections, the Foreign Secretary said.
“In Paris, I will be meeting my friend, President Emmanuel Macron, who has just been re-elected. During our talks we will take stock of various bilateral and global issues,” the Prime Minister wrote on Twitter.
On May 4, Mr Modi will participate in the 2nd India-Nordic Summit along with Prime Ministers of Denmark, Iceland, Finland, Sweden and Norway.