Asserting that India is on the side of peace, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday that India believes there will be no winner in the Russia-Ukraine conflict and all will suffer losses.
Addressing a joint press event with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz here, Modi said that from the start of the Ukraine crisis, India has called for immediate cessation of hostilities and stressed that talks are the only solution to resolve the dispute.
“We believe that there will be no winner in this war and all will suffer losses. Therefore, we are on the side of peace,” he said.
“Due to the disturbance caused by the Ukraine crisis, oil prices are sky rocketing, there is a shortage of food grains and fertilizers as a result of which every family in the world has been burdened,” he said.
Mr. Modi said that the effect of this on developing and poor countries will be much more. He also said India is also concerned about the humanitarian consequences of the conflict.
On his part, Mr. Scholz said Russia has violated the UN charter by attacking Ukraine. He said he has also invited Prime Minister Modi for G-7 summit in Germany.
Ealier on Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi met German Chancellor Olaf Scholz ib Berlin and they reviewed the full range of bilateral ties, including giving an impetus to trade as well as cultural linkages.
Mr. Modi arrived in Berlin on Monday morning on the first leg of his three-nation Europe trip that will also take him to Denmark and France. The visit comes amid the Ukraine crisis, which has united much of Europe against Russia.
Prime Minister Modi was received by Chancellor Scholz in a ceremonial welcome at the Federal Chancellery in Berlin upon his arrival for talks. He was accorded the Guard of Honour at the forecourt of the Federal Chancellery in Berlin.
The two leaders held a quick tete-a-tete ahead of the delegation-level talks. “Expanding India-Germany cooperation. PM @narendramodi and Chancellor Scholz meet in Berlin. @Bundeskanzle,” the Prime Minister’s Office tweeted.
This is Prime Minister Modi’s first meeting with Mr. Scholz as German Chancellor, who assumed office in December, 2021. “Discussions continue between PM @narendramodi and Chancellor Scholz in Berlin. Both leaders are reviewing the full range of bilateral ties between India and Germany, including giving an impetus to trade as well as cultural linkages. @Bundeskanzler,” the PMO tweeted.
The two leaders are expected to exchange views on strategic, regional and global developments.
“PM @narendramodi and @Bundeskanzler Olaf Scholz begin bilateral discussions. This is their first engagement since Chancellor Scholz assumed office in December 2021. The momentum of high level exchanges with our Strategic Partner continues,” Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said.
Mr. Modi and Mr. Scholz co-chaired the 6th India-Germany Inter-Governmental Consultations (IGC).
Launched in 2011, IGC is a unique biennial mechanism which allows the two governments to coordinate on a wide spectrum of bilateral issues. Many ministers from both sides will participate in the IGC.
External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval were also present in the meeting.
The 6th IGC will further strengthen the India-Germany strategic partnership, the MEA had said.
This is Mr. Modi’s fifth visit to Germany after becoming Prime Minister. He had earlier visited the European country in April 2018, July 2017, May 2017 and April 2015.
In his departure statement, Mr. Modi had said that his visit to Berlin will be an opportunity to hold detailed bilateral discussions with Chancellor Scholz, whom he met at G20 last year in his previous capacity as Vice-Chancellor and Finance Minister.
“I look forward to exchanging views with Chancellor Scholz on strategic, regional and global developments that concern us both,” Modi had said ahead of his visit.
In 2021, India and Germany commemorated 70 years of the establishment of diplomatic relations and have been strategic partners since 2000, Mr. Modi said.
Germany is India’s largest trading partner in Europe with a bilateral trade of over $21 billion.
Mr. Modi is also scheduled to interact with the Indian diaspora in Germany. The country is home to a thriving Indian diaspora of over 200 thousand.
The visit will chart the future course for deepening Indo-German ties, the MEA said.