Ukraine: Macron quotes Modi at UNGA; US welcomes PM’s remark to Vladimir Putin | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Ukraine: Macron quotes Modi at UNGA; US welcomes PM’s remark to Vladimir Putin

Sep 21, 2022 12:33 PM IST

India has consistently sought a peaceful resolution to the Ukraine crisis and spoken of the need to respect territorial integrity and sovereignty, an implicit message to Russia which is widely seen as having violated Ukraine’s sovereignty

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s clear message to Russian President Vladimir Putin on how this was not the era of wars has strengthened India’s diplomatic hand in the West, with French President Emmanuel Macron, in his address to the United Nations General Assembly, echoing the sentiments expressed by PM Modi.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with French President Emmanuel Macron in New Delhi. (File Photo)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with French President Emmanuel Macron in New Delhi. (File Photo)

US national security advisor Jake Sullivan too welcomed the remarks during a White House press conference on Tuesday.

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While speaking at the UNGA high-level debate, Macron, who shares a close personal relationship with PM Modi, said, “Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India, was right when he said the time is not for war. It is not for revenge against the West or for opposing the West against the East. It is the collective time for our sovereign equal states to cope together with challenges we face.”

That is why, Macron said, there was an urgent need to develop a new contract between the North and the South, an effective contract which is respectful for food, for biodiversity, for education.

On Tuesday evening, Macron also hosted a dinner which was attended by Union external affairs minister S Jaishankar, a meeting that featured the impending Ukraine conflict.

Also Read:Putin announces partial mobilisation in Russia, warns West: ‘have weapons…’

Separately at White House, Sullivan, among the architects of America’s Ukraine strategy, stated, “I think what Prime Minister Modi said — a statement of principle on behalf of what he believes is right and just — was very much welcomed by the United States and for the Indian leadership, which has longstanding relationships in Moscow, from the very top all the way through the Russian government, to continue to reinforce that message that now is the time for war to end.”

The way for the war to end, Sullivan added, was for Russia to abide by the basic terms of the UN charter and “to return the territories it has seized by force”. “This is a message that every country — however they feel about Russia, Ukraine, the United States, everyone should be able to centre around this basic proposition: You cannot conquer your neighbour’s territory by force, and peace will come fastest and most decisively to Ukraine if Russia abandons that effort.”

Sullivan said that the US would like to see every country in the world to make that case, “publicly if they like...privately if they like”. “But sending that clear and unmistakable message to Moscow at this time is the most vital thing I think we can collectively do to produce peace in that region.”

PM Modi’s message has also been heard loud and clear in central Europe. During an interview to HT, Austrian foreign minister Alexander Schallenberg said that India’s voice on Ukraine mattered and the PM’s clear and public message to Putin was important.

India has consistently sought a peaceful resolution to the crisis and spoken of the need to respect territorial integrity and sovereignty, an implicit message to Russia which is widely seen as having violated Ukraine’s sovereignty. PM Modi had also spoken to Putin urging for a return to peace. But India’s refusal to name Russia and condemn it for the war, and its continued economic engagement with Russia, has led to criticism in western public sphere, more than in western governments.

Modi’s statement to Putin was broadly in line with India’s position. But the fact that the statement was made publicly, and the interpretation of that statement in the west as a shift in India’s position, has shifted attitudes in recent days in western capitals and has been picked up as a sign of increasing diplomatic pressure on Russia, even from its old friends.

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