No winner in this war, serious impact on developing and poor countries: PM Modi

Underlining that Russia has violated fundamental principles of international law and the UN Charter by attacking Ukraine and its civilian population, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Monday that he and Prime Minister Narendra Modi agreed that “Borders should not be changed through the use of violenceand “inviolability as well as the sovereignty of nations has to be universally accepted.”

Scholz said he has invited Modi to the G-7 meeting which will be held in Germany in the last week of June.

Prime Minister Modi, who did not name Russia in his statement, said “there will be no winning party in this war, everyone will suffer”.

This is a new formulation, going beyond what New Delhi has been saying so far — calling for cessation of hostilities and saying dialogue is the only way to resolve the conflict.

“Recent geopolitical events also showed how fragile world peace and stability is, and how interconnected all countries are. From the very beginning of the Ukrainian crisis, we called for an immediate ceasefire, insisting that dialogue is the only way to resolve the dispute. We believe that there will be no winning party in this war, everyone will suffer. That is why we are in favor of peace,” Modi said.

“Oil prices are skyrocketing due to the turmoil triggered by the Ukraine conflict; There is also a shortage of food grains and fertilizers in the world. This has burdened every family in the world, but its impact on developing and poor countries will be even more serious. India is deeply concerned by the humanitarian impact of this conflict. We have sent humanitarian aid to Ukraine on our behalf. We are also trying to help other friendly countries through food exports, oil supplies and economic assistance,” he said.

Narendra Modi with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. (Photo: Twitter @PMOIndia)

Scholz said, “I repeat my appeal to Vladimir Putin: end this and this senseless killing. Withdraw your troops immediately,” he said, with Modi standing next to him.

“The importance of a rule-based order is illustrated to us and impressed upon us by this. We agree on the fact that borders should not be changed through the use of violence and that the inviolability as well as the sovereignty of nations has to be universally accepted. We talked about this in greater detail with the Prime Minister. What needs to be done now is to ensure that we achieve a better future together, not by waging wars against each other, but by pursuing economic growth and development together,” he said.

In the joint statement issued after the talks, a line stood out: “Germany reiterated its strong condemnation of the unlawful and unprovoked aggression against Ukraine by Russian Forces.”

A unilateral statement, which expresses one country’s views, in the joint statement is unusual and reflects the divergence in views of the two countries. But there were enough lines to show the convergence.

“Germany and India expresses 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.”

On the Indo-Pacific, Scholz said, “What is clear is that the Indo-Pacific belongs to the most dynamic global regions. And at the same time, it is confronted with a number of conflicts and challenges.”

“The world can only develop if we are clear, as to the future relations in the world will be characterized and marked by many countries, not by a few powerful countries and nations but by many important countries. The rise of many countries is what has become important,” he said, referring to the multi-polar world, without mentioning China.

India, he said, is counted among countries with a large population, and also because of the part it plays and the share it has in the global economy.

The joint statement said that both sides stressed the significance of a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific, recognizing the centrality of ASEAN.

“Both sides underlined the importance of unimpeded commerce and freedom of navigation in accordance with International Law, notably the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) 1982, in all maritime domains including in the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea, the statement said.

As an important milestone in Germany’s growing engagement with the Indo-Pacific region, both sides welcomed the port call by the German Navy frigate Bayern in Mumbai in January. “Germany also agreed to welcome an Indian naval ship on a friendly visit to a German port next year”, the statement said.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said he discussed the Russia-Ukraine conflict with his German counterparts, Annalena Baerbock. He also met German Economic Cooperation and Development Minister Svenja Schulze and signed agreements on Triangular Development Cooperation and Renewable Energy Partnership.

The two sides also signed nine agreements including in areas of migration and mobility, green hydrogen task force, and environment.

Scholz even referred to the heat wave in India, calling it an impact of climate change.

Modi and Scholz held a bilateral meeting, just before the 6th round of the biennial Inter-Governmental Consultations (IGC) between India and Germany.

“India has shown to the world that green and sustainable growth is an article of faith for us by raising its climate ambition in Glasgow. Under this new partnership, Germany has decided to support India’s green growth plans with an additional development assistance of 10 billion euros by 2030,” Modi said. “Considering our complementary strengths, we have also decided to create a Green Hydrogen Task Force. This will be very useful in enhancing the green hydrogen infrastructure in both countries,” he said.

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