Ukraine conflict must be resolved through dialogue, reiterates Jaishankar

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar said the G20 summit in Bali next week is likely to give an indication of the sentiments of the member nations on the Ukraine conflict

Published - November 10, 2022 10:06 pm IST - New Delhi

S. Jaishankar. File.

S. Jaishankar. File. | Photo Credit: AP

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar on November 10 said it is premature to talk about whether India could play a role in brokering peace between Russia and Ukraine, even as he reiterated the need for resolving the conflict through talks and highlighted Prime Minister Narendra Modi's message to Russian President Vladimir Putin that "today's era is not of war". He also said that the Global South is feeling the brunt of the impact of the conflict without actually being able to influence any of the decision-making.

"You asked whether the situation is ripe or is it premature. I think your question itself is premature. In a way, we are not looking, we cannot approach today's problems with models or experiences—this is a very, very different situation in which we are in today," Mr. Jaishankar said at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit.

He was replying to a question on increasing speculation about Indian role in brokering peace and whether New Delhi is willing to be a facilitator to resolve the conflict.

"My own sense is that those countries who really believe that this is, as the Prime Minister said, 'not an era of war', who do not believe that such issues can be settled on the battlefield, who believe that there is an urgent necessity for countries to get back to the negotiating table, who can see the suffering," Mr. Jaishankar said.

Mr. Modi had conveyed to Mr. Putin during a meeting in the Uzbek city of Samarkand in September that "today's era is not of war".

"The difficulties which others are facing, who have nothing to do with this issue but they are, in a sense, collateral damage to what is happening, so I think countries like this it is very important that..," Mr. Jaishankar said.

"I would look at it like a body of opinion who articulate their concerns and try to shape the thinking of those more directly involved in a positive direction. I think beyond that, to suggest anything else, I do not think is justified at this point of time," he said.

He said the G20 summit in Bali next week is likely to give an indication of the sentiments of the member nations on the Ukraine conflict.

"At the moment, it is fairly obvious that emotions are high. I would say strong views, polarisation would be one description for what is happening, but do remember (that) in terms of politics, strategy or... the Ukraine conflict, in a sense, it is perceived as an East-West polarisation," he said.

"But if you look at the implications of it, to some degree, it has become a North-South polarisation because the South is feeling the brunt of the impact without actually being able to influence any of the decision-making," he said.

"There are other sets of issues, in our part of the world some of them are economic issues, issues about what kind of world we live in, respect for international law, for rules, norms, countries dealing with each other, respecting each other's sovereignty," Mr. Jaishankar added.

He said some of these will influence G20, but it is not the forum to settle these issues or frankly even to primarily debate these issues.

"G20 has an economic and financial mandate... But this is the real world, so I guess we will see a spillover," he added.

Since the Ukraine conflict began in February, Prime Minister Modi spoke to Russian President Putin as well as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy a number of times.

In a phone conversation with Mr. Zelenskyy on October 4, Mr. Modi said there can be "no military solution" and that India is ready to contribute to any peace efforts.

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