On March 1 India cleared its stand on the Russia-Ukraine conflict, reaffirming Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statement that “this isn’t an era of war”.
Speaking at a special briefing on G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra said, “India’s position on the Russia-Ukraine conflict is that ‘This isn’t an era of war’. Dialogue and diplomacy are the way forward. The agenda is for the foreign ministers to discuss in the meet.”
He said the Russia-Ukraine conflict will be an important point of discussion when the foreign ministers from around the world meet during March 2’s Group of 20 (G20) gathering in New Delhi.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar will be chairing two sessions of the foreign ministries meeting.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to address the Foreign Ministers of the member countries of G20 and he will talk about India’s growing influence globally.
“First session will focus on multilateralism, and issues related to food and energy while the second session will focus on four or five key issues including new and emerging threats including counter-terrorism and narcotics, global skill mapping, focus on global talent pools,” said the Foreign Secretary.
Responding to a meeting between Jaishankar and Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang, Kwatra said, “The External Affairs minister is expected to be meeting all foreign ministers. Details to be shared once all the meetings are concluded.”
“Given the developing situation of Russia-Ukraine, naturally, it’ll be an important point of discussion during the Foreign Ministers’ meeting. Foreign ministers will be focusing on the Russia-Ukraine situation, it’ll be important to what they come out with, what understanding is developed,” said Vinay Kwatra.
Further he added that, “Issues of the impact of the Russia-Ukraine conflict on the world, including economic impact and impact on development, will also be focused upon in the meeting.”
“This would be the second ministerial meeting held under our presidency. The venue will be Rashtrapati Bhavan Cultural Center. 40 delegations expected to participate,” he said.
The G20 foreign ministers meeting is taking place days after a gathering of finance ministers and the Central Bank Governors of the G20 member countries in Bengaluru failed to come out with a joint communique over sharp differences between the Western powers and Russia-China combine over the Ukraine conflict.
On whether a joint statement will be issued after the G20 Foreign Ministers meet, Foreign Secretary Kwatra said, “Can’t prejudge the outcomes.”
“Ask the Russians, Chinese if they stand by Bali consensus, we stand by the declaration,” said Arindam Bagchi spokesperson, the Ministry of External Affairs.
He said Russia and China opposed some para of Bali declaration, which was in the India chair statement/outcome after Finance Ministers’ meet.
Meanwhile, Vinay further stated that sessions will “capture” issues of the global south, when asked how India will be the voice of global south at the G20 FMs meet.
The Foreign Ministers are also likely to discuss ways to deal with falling economic growth, increasing inflation, lower demands for goods and services as well as increasing prices of food, fuel and fertilisers.
The G20 Foreign Ministers Meeting (FMM) is scheduled to take place in physical format from 1-2 March, 2023 in New Delhi under India’s presidency. Representatives of 40 countries, including non-G20 members invited by India, and multilateral organisations will attend.