No winner in this war, poor nations will suffer the most: Modi in Berlin
There is no winner to the Russia-Ukraine war as all will suffer losses, and there will be a “more serious” impact on developing and poor countries, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday after holding talks with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz as both leaders reiterated the need for an immediate cessation of hostilities.
Addressing a joint press event with Scholz after co-chairing the 6th inter-governmental consultations between the two nations, Modi said India was concerned over the humanitarian impact of the conflict and had provided aid to Ukraine.
“We believe that there will be no victorious party in this war and all will suffer losses. Therefore, we are on the side of peace,” he said.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz stressed that Russia has violated the fundamental principles of international law and the UN Charter by invading Ukraine, leading to the loss of thousands of lives.
He said, during the meeting, he and Modi agreed that “borders should not be changed through the use of violence,” and “inviolability as well as the sovereignty of nations has to be universally accepted.”
Modi, however, refrained from naming Russia in his references.
India so far has maintained a neutral stand on the Russia-Ukraine issue while calling for an end to hostilities, stressing that dialogue is the only way forward.
“Recent geopolitical events also showed how fragile world peace and stability is, and how interconnected all countries are. From the very beginning of the Ukrainian crisis, we called for an immediate ceasefire, insisting that dialogue is the only way to resolve the dispute. We believe that there will be no winning party in this war, everyone will suffer. That is why we are in favour of peace,” Modi said.
Pointing to skyrocketing global oil prices due to the Ukraine conflict, Modi said a parallel shortage of food grains and fertilizers has burdened every family across the world, especially those in developing and poor countries.
“India is deeply concerned by the humanitarian impact of this conflict. We have sent humanitarian aid to Ukraine on our behalf. We are also trying to help other friendly countries through food exports, oil supplies and economic assistance,” he said.
In a joint statement, the two countries unequivocally condemned the civilian deaths in Ukraine while calling for an immediate end to hostilities.
“Germany and India expressed their serious concern about the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Ukraine. They unequivocally condemned civilian deaths in Ukraine. They reiterated the need for an immediate cessation of hostilities. They emphasised that the contemporary global order has been built on the UN Charter, international law and respect for sovereignty and the territorial integrity of states. They discussed the destabilizing effect of the conflict in Ukraine and its broader regional and global implications. Both sides agreed to remain closely engaged on the issue,” the statement read.
During Modi’s visit, Scholz invited the latter to the G-7 meeting scheduled to be held in Germany in June.
Modi, who landed in Berlin on Monday morning on the first leg of his three-nation Europe trip that will also take him to Denmark and France, also held talks with the German Chancellor on key areas of bilateral cooperation under the overall strategic partnership as well as regional and global developments.
Trade, terrorism take centrestage
In their opening remarks at the IGC, both leaders highlighted key aspects of the bilateral relationship as well as shared perspectives on regional and global issues with Modi emphasising that the India-Germany partnership could serve as an example of success in a complex world. He also invited German participation in India’s Atmanirbhar Bharat campaign.
The two leaders inked the Joint Declaration of Intent establishing the Indo-German Partnership for Green and Sustainable Development under which Germany intends to strengthen its financial and technical cooperation and other assistance to India with a long-term goal of at least 10 billion Euros of new and additional commitments till 2030.
On Afghanistan, both sides expressed their serious concern about the humanitarian situation, the resurgence of violence, including targeted terrorist attacks, the systemic violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms, and the hampered access of girls and women to education, the statement said. “They reiterated strong support for a peaceful, secure and stable Afghanistan and confirmed to continue to provide humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan,” it added.
The statement said both leaders strongly condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, including any use of terrorist proxies and cross-border terrorism. They called upon all countries to work towards rooting out terrorist safe havens and infrastructure, disrupting terrorist networks and financing in accordance with international law, including international humanitarian law, it said. They further called for concerted action against all terrorist groups, including groups proscribed by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) 1267 Sanctions Committee.
Both sides also committed to the continued exchange of information about sanctions and designations against terror groups and individuals, countering radicalism, and terrorists’ use of the Internet and cross-border movement of terrorists, the statement added.
Modi and Scholz also emphasized the importance of upholding international standards on anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism by all countries, including in FATF which will advance and strengthen the framework for global cooperation and reinforce the fight against terrorism.
India and Germany stressed the importance of swift implementation of existing and future commitments. Germany and India highlighted the importance of the WTO as the center of the multilateral trading system and the central pillar of integrating developing countries into the global trading system. Both countries are committed to reforming the WTO. The two countries expressed their strong support for the upcoming negotiations between the European Union and India on a Free Trade Agreement, an Investment Protection Agreement and an Agreement on Geographical Indications, and underlined the enormous potential of such Agreements for expanding bilateral trade and investment. Modi said India is committed to quick progress in free trade agreement negotiations with the European Union. He also said India and Germany have decided to set up a green hydrogen task force.
(With inputs from agencies)