At a media briefing, the newly appointed foreign secretary underlined the “context, clarity, importance and positive dimension” of India’s position on Ukraine and asserted that there should not be any doubt about it.
“Our position on Ukraine has been clear. First, there should be a cessation of hostilities; second, a solution must be found out through dialogue and diplomacy,” he said, adding this view has been conveyed very clearly to various countries.
India has supported calls for a ceasefire and a diplomatic solution to end the war in Ukraine, while abstaining at the United Nations on votes for draft resolutions condemning Russia’s invasion that were ultimately vetoed by Moscow.
On his first trip abroad this year, PM Modi will embark on a three-day visit to Germany, Denmark and France beginning Monday amid the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.
In the coming days, I will be visiting Germany, Denmark and France for important bilateral and multilateral engagem… https://t.co/tCIqGBMRs1
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) 1651393278000
In a statement ahead of his visit, the Prime Minister said he will be visiting Berlin on May 2 at the invitation of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, following which he will travel to Copenhagen on May 3-4 at the invitation of his Danish counterpart Mette Frederiksen to hold bilateral engagements and also participate in the Second India-Nordic Summit.
Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman and a number of other senior Union ministers are expected to accompany PM Modi to Germany as the format of the IGC mandates direct talks between senior ministers from the two sides on cooperation in specific areas.
On the way back to India, PM Modi said he will make a brief stopover in Paris for a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron.
The Prime Minister said that his visit to Europe comes at a time when the region faces many “challenges and choices.”
The tour comes at a time when India is looking to balance its historic links with Moscow and its relatively new pivot toward closer ties with US.
India has not yet publicly condemned the Russian attack on Ukraine and has been calling for the resolution of the conflict through dialogue and diplomacy.
It has also come under criticism from US and Australia — its partners in the Quad grouping, which also includes Japan — for considering the Russian proposal to bypass sanctions imposed by Washington and its allies.
While the principal focus of PM Modi’s tour, which starts from Berlin on May 2, will be on the strengthening of bilateral partnerships, issues of regional and
global importance will also be discussed, Kwatra said.
(With inputs from agencies)