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Peace being threatened, can hamper global economic recovery: FM Sitharaman

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said no country, including India, can plan for its economic recovery during global disturbances.

February 25, 2022 / 07:12 PM IST
File image of Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman

File image of Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on February 25 warned that "peace is being threatened" and that no country in the world could plan for its economic recovery amid such circumstances.

Speaking at the Asia Economic Dialogue 2022 on February 25, the finance minister said she hoped peace would soon be restored.

"India's development is going to be challenged by the newer challenges emanating in the world. Peace is being threatened. And post the second World War, a war of this significance, with this impact on the globe, has probably not been felt," Sitharaman said, seemingly alluding to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

"But hopefully some kind of restoration of peace at the earliest will happen, based on which recoveries can be sustainable. No one country today can plan for its recovery...because of these kinds of disturbances. Our recovery, not just of India, but for countries everywhere, will be severely hampered," the finance minister added.

Russia's invasion of Ukraine has left global financial markets in turmoil. Crude oil prices have surged, putting pressure on the fragile comeback economies are making even as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to weigh on sentiment and economic activity.

On February 24, Brent crude futures went past the $100/barrel mark for the first time in over seven years as Russia attacked several parts of Ukraine after President Vladimir Putin approved a military operation to "demilitarise" its neighbor. Russian troops have since pushed closer to the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv.

Various nations have imposed economic sanctions on Russia over the last couple of days, with a European Union (EU) spokesperson saying Putin was behaving like a Nazi.

"He (Putin) is talking about de-nazifying Ukraine, but he behaves like Nazis. So this is all in his head," news agency AFP reported on February 25, quoting EU spokesman Peter Stano.

In her speech at the India Economic Dialogue, Sitharaman said global welfare was crucial for economic recovery to take hold.

"We need for the welfare of the globe, for the welfare of humanity, to have this recovery sustainable and to have this recovery continue without any disruption," Sitharaman said.

India's economy entered a technical recession in 2020 following the imposition of a nationwide lockdown in late March 2020 to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

While growth has since returned to positive territory, economists see various risks to the growth outlook, particularly from elevated inflation, tightening of global financial conditions, and rising crude oil prices.

Siddharth Upasani
first published: Feb 25, 2022 07:12 pm