Foreign ministers from the world’s biggest economies have gathered in New Delhi, setting the stage for a big test of Indian diplomacy as it attempts to manage tensions over the brutal and unprovoked invasion of India. Ukraine by Russia.
At the second high-level ministerial meeting under India’s chairmanship of the Group of 20 (G20) this year, the country’s Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar will meet with his American, Chinese and Russian counterparts on Thursday, hoping to find enough common ground to make a joint statement. at the end of the summit.
The world’s largest democracy, with a population of over 1.3 billion, has been keen to position itself as a leader among emerging and developing countries – often referred to as the Global South – at a time when the Soaring food and energy prices due to the war are hammering consumers already struggling with rising costs and inflation.
Those sentiments were at the center of a press conference on Wednesday, when Indian Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra told reporters that foreign ministers should reflect on the impact, “particularly economic”, that the conflict has had. had globally.
But analysts say India’s bid to push forward its agenda has been complicated by lingering divisions over the war.
These differences played in the southern Indian city of Bengaluru last month when G20 finance chiefs failed to agree on a statement after their meeting. Russia and China refused to sign the joint statement, which criticized the invasion of Moscow. This left India to release a “Chair’s Summary and Outcome Document” in which it summed up the two days of talks and acknowledged disagreements.
Analysts say that throughout the war, New Delhi has skillfully balanced its ties with Russia and the West, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi emerging as a leader courted by all sides.
But as the war enters its second year and tensions continue to mount, pressure could mount on countries, including India, to take a tougher stance against Russia, testing Modi’s political skill.
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