India has called for restraint and a diplomatic solution in the Ukraine crisis that would accommodate the interests of all ethnic and linguistic groups and take care of the “legitimate concerns” of the neighbouring states.
“We have consistently called for restraint in dealing with the situation in Ukraine and for a negotiated diplomatic solution,” Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh said addressing students and professors at Moscow’s prestigious Diplomatic Academy.
“I hope that a diplomatic solution can be found that will take into account the interests of all sections of Ukrainian society, of all ethnic and linguistic minorities,” she stated.
Ms. Singh said that India knows from its own experience how important it is for inclusive society to accommodate the aspirations of all the minorities.
“Otherwise it’s not going to work; otherwise there’ll always be conflict,” she added.
“So we’re looking to a solution that takes into account the interests of all sections of society and the legitimate concerns of all neighbouring countries,” Ms. Singh said.
The Foreign Secretary has paid a three day visit to Moscow for bilateral Foreign Ministry consultations. Following talks on Wednesday with First Deputy Foreign Minister Vladimir Titov and Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov, Ms. Singh told The Hindu that they had given her “detailed briefing” on the situation in Ukraine and expressed the hope and desire for de-escalation of the situation.
Ms. Singh said India did not approve of the West’s policy of isolation and sanctions against Russia.
“You’ve got to talk to Russia, to get an understanding with Russia on what the best course of action is. The only way is through diplomatic dialogue, through consultations and discussions.”
The Foreign Secretary did not think that the current elections in India would lead to a pause in bilateral ties with Russia.
“There is consensus in India on importance of strategic partnership with Russia. You won’t find two views on that and this will continue no matter who wins in the elections.”
Ms. Singh said India and Russia have drawn up a “very intensive agenda for bilateral contacts.”
In its comment on Indo-Russian consultations, the Russian Foreign Ministry said the sides “reaffirmed the special character of Russian-Indian privileged strategic partnership, took note of positive dynamics in implementing key joint projects… and reiterated their intention to coordinate their approaches and positions in the international organisations and in multilateral forums.”