Narendra Modi in Denmark: PM to attend India-Nordic summit today

Underlining that she had discussed the war in Ukraine with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the “consequences of the horrible crimes committed against civilians”, Denmark’s Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said Tuesday she “hoped” that “India will influence Russia” to end the war.

This is one of the most clear expectations enunciated and articulated by any European leader in the last two months since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24.

Modi arrived in Copenhagen Tuesday and was received by Frederiksen at the airport.

Condemning Russia’s “unlawful and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine”, she said her message to Russian President Vladimir Putin was “very clear” that he has to “stop this war” and “end the killings”.

Modi, who was standing with her as they made statements after their bilateral meeting, said they discussed Ukraine and called for a ceasefire and resolution of the conflict through dialogue and diplomacy — a reiteration of New Delhi’s position, articulated at the UN as well as in Berlin Monday in the presence of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

The Prime Ministers will meet again Wednesday for the India-Nordic summit which will include Sweden, Finland, Norway and Iceland. This will be the second such summit after the first in 2018.

Frederiksen said, “We share many values. We are two democratic nations. We both believe in a rule-based international system. And in times as these, we need to build an even stronger bridge between us as close partners. We, of course, also discussed the war in Ukraine.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi welcomed by Denmark PM Mette Frederiksen in Copenhagen on May 3, 2022. (Twitter/narendramodi)

“We discussed the consequences of the horrible crimes committed against civilians and the serious humanitarian crisis in Ukraine. The reports on killings of civilians in Bucha are deeply shocking. We have condemned these killings and we stressed the need for an independent investigation. Denmark and the entire European Union strongly condemned Russia’s unlawful and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.”

“My message is very clear — Putin has got to stop this war and to end the killings. I, of course, hope that India will influence Russia also in this discussion,” she said.

Modi, who did not mention Russia in his statement, said, “Today we discussed India-EU ties, Indo-Pacific and Ukraine, along with other regional and global issues… We appealed for an immediate ceasefire… diplomacy and dialogue are the path to resolve the conflict.”

In the joint statement, similar to Germany’s statement, “the Danish Prime Minister reiterated Denmark’s strong condemnation of the unprovoked aggression against Ukraine by Russian Forces.”

“The two Prime Ministers expressed their serious concern about the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Ukraine. They unequivocally condemned civilian deaths in Ukraine. They reiterated the need for an immediate cessation of hostilities. They emphasized that the contemporary global order has been built on the UN Charter, international law and respect for sovereignty and the territorial integrity of states. They discussed the destabilizing effect of the conflict in Ukraine and its broader regional and global implications. Both sides agreed to remain closely engaged on the issue.”

The two sides built on the Green Strategic Partnership, established during the virtual summit between the two Prime Ministers in September 2020. They reviewed the progress made since Frederiksen’s visit to India in October 2021, especially in the sectors of renewable energy, health, shipping, and water.

They discussed their cooperation within the renewable energy sector and welcomed the work on a comprehensive Energy Policy Dialogue in India and Denmark.

Frederiksen said, “Today, we have agreed on a number of concrete steps — green energy to water and to counter the next global health crisis, just to mention a few examples. Hopefully, the two of us can lead by example by showing that green growth can go hand in hand. And I am convinced that India and Denmark have a huge untapped potential for trade and investment.”

Modi said they hoped that they would be able to conclude the negotiations on the India-EU free trade agreement soon.

The joint statement said the two PMs “noted with satisfaction the progress made in collaboration in the fields of urban and rural water supply, groundwater mapping, wastewater management, river rejuvenation and digitalisation”.

They “looked forward to the early signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Jal Shakti and the Danish Environment Ministry as a broad-based framework to enhance the existing cooperation and to launch new initiatives, including a Smart Laboratory on Clean River Water in Varanasi and a Center of Excellence on Smart Water Resources Management,” the statement said.

They also signed the Letter of Intent on the establishment of a Center of Excellence on Green Shipping, which is expected to strengthen bilateral maritime cooperation. “The two leaders also agreed to expand the cooperation on agriculture by a Joint Declaration of Intent establishing among others a Center of Excellence on Dairy,” the statement said.

It said the PMs agreed to strengthen people-to-people ties with a “Letter of Intent on Migration and Mobility with a view to promote safe, orderly and regular migration”.

The two sides signed nine pacts, which included cooperation on skills development, migration and mobility, culture, water, start-ups, energy policy among other issues.


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