PM for Ukraine diplomacy, against Russia oil price cap

PM for Ukraine diplomacy, against Russia oil price cap

Updated: 2 months, 21 days, 2 hours, 16 minutes, 32 seconds ago

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday reiterated his call for a return to the “path of ceasefire and diplomacy" in Ukraine, and opposed any restrictions on the supply of fuel against the backdrop of the G7’s plan to impose a price cap on Russian oil.

Modi also met a number of the world leaders on the sidelines of the summit —apart from holding talks with US President Joe Biden, he was seen talking to newly appointed UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and French President Emmanuel Macron in the morning, and later exchanging pleasantries with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the formal dinner.

Addressing the first working session of the G20 Summit in Bali that focussed on food and energy security, Modi said India’s access to energy is crucial for global growth as it is the world’s fastest-growing economy. He also warned that the global shortage of fertilizers represents a “huge crisis" for food security.

Modi said the onus of creating a new world order to meet the challenges of the post-covid-19 era have fallen on the grouping of the world’s 20 largest economies as multilateral institutions such as the UN have been unsuccessful.

The G20 leaders gathered for the two-day summit on the Indonesian island of Bali amid deep divisions over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Western leaders such as Biden and Sunak said they will use the summit to denounce Russia’s actions and to strengthen global support against the war.

“I have repeatedly said that we have to find a way to return to the path of ceasefire and diplomacy in Ukraine," Modi said in his address, delivered in Hindi.

He emphasized that a solution to the Ukraine crisis will be a focus of India’s G20 presidency, which begins in December. “The need of the hour is to show concrete and collective resolve to ensure peace, harmony and security in the world. I am confident that next year when the G20 meets in the holy land of Buddha and Gandhi, we will all agree to convey a strong message of peace to the world," he said.

India’s energy security is “important for global growth" as it is the world’s fastest growing economy, he noted. “We must not promote any restrictions on the supply of energy and stability in the energy market should be ensured," Modi said. The remarks are significant in view of the G7’s plan to impose a price cap on Russian oil from 5 December and a move by the UK to cut off access to its insurance market for vessels transporting Russian crude. The EU plans to impose a ban on seaborne exports of Russian crude from 5 December.

India has so far refrained from publicly criticising Russia’s invasion but consistently called for an end to hostilities and a return to diplomacy and dialogue. Modi, who has spoken to Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy several times, has suggested direct talks between the two leaders. During a meeting with Putin in Uzbekistan in September, Modi nudged him to end the conflict, saying this was “not an era of war".

New Delhi has also taken up Moscow’s offer of discounted crude and Russia is among the top energy suppliers for India.

Modi said India ensured food security for its 1.3 billion citizens during the pandemic and also supplied food grains to many countries in need. However, the current shortage of fertilizers is a “huge crisis" for food security.

Modi said the G20 should “not hesitate to acknowledge that multilateral institutions such as the UN have been unsuccessful" in dealing with global problems associated with climate change, the covid-19 pandemic and developments in Ukraine, he said.

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