Russia absent, India refuses to endorse peace communique | India News – Times of India


NEW DELHI: The issue of Russia’s absence loomed large at the peace summit in Switzerland, as India joined over a dozen other countries in not signing a joint communique that declared any peace agreement must be based on Ukraine’s territorial integrity. India backed out saying abiding peace isn’t possible in the absence of options acceptable to both sides, as the summit also could not elicit the kind of support Ukraine was hoping for from the Global South.
Among others who did not back the communique, which was endorsed by 84 countries and organisations out of the 100 that participated, were important Indian BRICS partners like Brazil, South Africa and UAE apart from countries in the extended neighbourhood like Indonesia and Thailand.
Saudi Arabia, Armenia, Bahrain, Colombia, Libya, Mexico and Suriname also didn’t sign on to the document. Given the efforts to keep Russia out, and Moscow’s own reservations about the summit, India was represented, as reported by TOI on Saturday and even earlier, only by a secretary-level official at the 2-day summitthat ended Sunday. India never considered participation at the highest or even ministerial level.
Justifying India’s decision to not associate itself with any communique/document emerging from this Summit, MEA secretary (west) Pavan Kapoor, who led the Indian delegation, said in India’s view only those options acceptable to both parties can lead to abiding peace. “In line with this approach, we have decided to not associate with the joint communique or any other document emerging from the summit,’’ said the official.
The foreign ministry said in a separate statement a lasting and peaceful resolution requires “sincere and practical engagement between the two parties to the conflict’’.
“India’s participation in the Summit, as well as in the preceding NSA/Political Director-level meetings based on Ukraine’s Peace Formula, was in line with our consistent approach to facilitate a lasting and peaceful resolution to the conflict through dialogue and diplomacy,’’ said the Indian statement, alluding to Modi’s repeated assurances to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy that India would do everything within its means to support a peaceful solution.
However, India and others who did not endorse the communique had doubts about whether the peace summit would be able to achieve its objective of “just peace’’ in the absence of Russia, the main party to the conflict along with Ukraine. The Indian government also said India will continue to remain engaged with all stakeholders as well as both the parties to contribute to all “earnest efforts’’ to bring about an early and abiding peace.
The communique said that the UN Charter and “respect for territorial integrity and sovereignty can and will serve as a basis for achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in Ukraine’’. Zelenskyy had called Modi earlier this year to seek a high-level participation for the summit. He later also sent his foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba to India to explain the efficacy of his 10-point peace plan. India’s position on any peace process is also in line with the stand taken by China, which boycotted the summit altogether, that it’s imperative for such an initiative to involve both Russia and Ukraine.


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