India to take balanced position on Ukraine

India is set to articulate its balanced and neutral approach amid landscape-shifting events in global geopolitics when Prime Minister Narendra Modi attends the BRICS and G-7 summit meetings through this week and the next.

The prime minister will be a part of the BRICS summit held virtually on June 23, he will travel to Germany on June 26 to take part as an invitee to G-7 meet held under German presidency. Modi is likely to visit UAE in the same trip. The BRICS summit is held under the Chinese presidency.

The two summits will be critical to shape the geo-political narrative in the backdrop of the Ukraine conflict, seeking ways to ensure durability to a fragile economic recovery. Notwithstanding the pressure from the West, India has remained neutral on the Russia-Ukraine conflict and has bought fossil fuels from Russia to serve what the Modi government described as national interests.

New Delhi continues to engage Moscow on a variety of issues including NSA-level meetings and a ministerial visit to the St Petersburg International Economic Forum. While economic implications of the Ukraine war, sanctions and trade in national currencies will be priority for the BRICS Summit, G-20 will see India take a balanced position on the conflict in Ukraine and pitch for dialogue as a way forward to end the war.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz wants to make strengthening cooperation among democracies worldwide a focus of the G-7 summit that he will host in Bavaria. Besides India, he has invited leaders of Indonesia (G20 Presidency), South Africa, Senegal (current African Union chair) and Argentina for the meet. Interestingly, all these countries have stayed neutral in the Ukraine war and did not join the sanctions against Russia.

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Harry Byrne

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