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India not part of official G7 statement that supports Ukraine and condemns Russia: Officials

India is participating in the ongoing G7 summit as a guest nation but does not condone or endorse any of the recommendations, statements or announcements in the six-page statement on Ukraine, as it was not part of the drafting team, officials said.

June 27, 2022 / 06:15 PM IST
Prime Minister Narendra Modi shaking hands with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz (Image: AP)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi shaking hands with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz (Image: AP)

India was not part of the official statement released by the Group of Seven (G7) nations on June 27 that declared full support for embattled Ukraine and condemned Russia for the ongoing invasion, officials clarified.

"We will continue to provide financial, humanitarian, military and diplomatic support and stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes," the G7 said in a statement at its ongoing 47th summit. The G7 also welcomed the European Council’s decision to grant the status of candidate country to Ukraine and Moldova, further establishing Ukraine's induction into the European Union.

However, India does not condone or endorse any of the recommendations, statements or announcements in the six-page summit statement as it was not part of the drafting team, officials said. Instead, it has reiterated its calls for peace in Ukraine and a quick resolution of the crisis through diplomacy and dialogue.

The G7 is an inter-governmental political forum of the seven-largest free-market economies -- Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. India is participating as an invited guest nation at the summit and Prime Minister Narendra Modi is currently attending it.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine, climate protection, infrastructure and investments form the core agenda of the ongoing G7 meeting. However, the issue of Ukraine and how to solve it has dominated the talks till now, sources say.

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will also take part virtually in the deliberations at Schloss Elmau in Munich on Monday.

G7 leaders have also agreed to ban gold exports from Russia, at a meeting designed to take fresh concerted action to deplete Moscow's war chest. According to the White House, Russia accounted for about 5 percent of all world gold exports in 2020 and 90 percent of Russia's output went to G7 countries-mostly to Britain.

Senior officials said the G7's announcement of continuing support to Ukraine will be the highlight of the ongoing summit, despite a full day of the summit remaining. The highlight of the 47th summit had been the reaching of a provisional agreement on a global minimum corporate tax rate of 15 percent.

India has not yet criticised Russia for its invasion of Ukraine and it abstained from voting at the UN platforms that condemned the Russian aggression. Indian officials and ministers have rebuffed calls for cutting ties with Russia, arguing that New Delhi's foreign policy on the issue is guided by its strategic interests and energy security.

However, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has noted multiple times in the past that it is one of the most dominating issues at present "not only because of the interests or values concerned but also because of the consequences".

Tight schedule for PM

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is having bilateral meetings with leaders of every G7 nation. He will also be meeting leaders of three of the four participant nations besides India - Argentina, South Africa and Indonesia.

Post the meetings, there will be a working session at 19:00 IST on the topic of food security and gender equality.

Later, Modi will be meeting President of the European Union Commission Ursula von der Leyen and Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau.

Work till now

In a first working session on Sunday, the heads of state and government of the G7 discussed global economic issues. All member nations together shortlisted major challenges that need immediate action. They include falling growth rates in major economies, rising energy prices, scarce raw materials and the threat of global famine.

Rising global inflation has also been repeatedly flagged by the leaders as a major issue whereby shortages of raw materials and disruption to supply chains have led to higher consumer prices in most nations. This has been due to a combination of higher crude oil prices, the Russia-Ukraine war jacking up food prices amidst an existing global shortfall of wheat, and higher prices of edible oil from Indonesia and Malaysia.

Officials said the G7 nations hope to coordinate closely on the issue of inflation and a follow-up meeting on the issue, between central banks of the G7 economies, is set to be scheduled soon.

The grouping has also made it clear that it wants to jointly invest in global infrastructure. Together with US President Joe Biden, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has announced a plan to raise $600 billion in private and public funds over the next five years. Called the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investments, it will finance necessary infrastructure in developing countries and counter China's older, multitrillion-dollar Belt and Road project, the German government has said.

The initiative builds on strong regional efforts such as the EU Global Gateway Initiative and is expected to begin a race in the sector between the Western allies and China.
Subhayan Chakraborty has been regularly reporting on international trade, diplomacy and foreign policy, for the past 7 years. He has also extensively covered evolving industry issues and government policy. He was earlier with the Business Standard newspaper.
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