Jaishankar bats for Ukraine diplomacy in Vienna

With India assuming the G20 presidency, India’s External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar has underlined the imperative for dialogue and diplomacy to resolve the Ukraine crisis, which has sharply polarised the world.

Mr Jaishankar, the first foreign minister to visit Austria in the last nearly three decades,  expressed “very deep” concern over the Ukraine conflict and underscored that India is on the side of peace as differences cannot be settled through violence.

“This (Ukraine) conflict is really a matter of very, very deep concern… Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared in September (that) we actually genuinely believe that this is no longer an era of war. You cannot settle differences and issues through violence,” Mr Jaishankar said. “So from the very beginning, our effort has been to urge (Russia and Ukraine to) return to dialogue and diplomacy…The Prime Minister himself has spoken on numerous occasions with President (Vladimir) Putin and President (Volodymyr) Zelensky. I myself talked to my colleagues in Russia and Ukraine,” he added.

“We know this is not (an) easily resolvable situation. But it’s important that countries who believe (in)…negotiation, speak up clearly in that regard…,” he said, adding that “we’re on the side of peace and a large part of the world thinks like us.”

India has been engaged with both Russia and Ukraine to nudge them to return to the path of diplomacy and dialogue and end their ongoing conflict.

India’s Prime Minister Modi has spoken to the leaders of Russia and Ukraine on many occasions and pitched for immediate cessation of hostilities. In his bilateral meeting with Russian President Putin on the sidelines of the SCO summit in Uzbek capital Tashkent on September 16, Mr Modi said “today’s era is not of war” and nudged him to end the conflict.


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