“Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on March 21 expressed his understanding of India’s position on the crisis in Ukraine and he and PM Narendra Modi felt that the conflict should not be a reason for diverting attention from the Indo-Pacific,” Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine figured at a virtual summit between the two Prime Ministers. At a media briefing, Mr. Shringla said Mr. Morrison expressed understanding of India's position on the Ukraine issue.
“There was serious concern about the ongoing conflict and humanitarian situation in Ukraine and both Mr. Modi and Mr. Morrison emphasised the need for cessation of hostilities and violence in Ukraine,” Mr. Shringla said.
“Both sides felt that the conflict in Europe should not be a reason for us to divert attention from the Indo-Pacific region,” he said.
Unlike its Quad partners — the U.S., Japan and Australia — India has not condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine and has been maintaining that crisis should be resolved through dialogue and diplomacy. Mr. Shringla also said that India and Australia were keen to finalise the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement as it will unlock new opportunities to expand bilateral trade and investment ties.
The Foreign Secretary said the two leaders exchanged views on regional and global issues of mutual interest including shared concerns over terrorism. Mr. Shringla said Mr. Modi also referred to the situation in eastern Ladakh and he emphasised that peace and tranquillity in the region was essential for normalisation of India's ties with China.