Washington: United States (US) Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he fully agreed with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remarks to Russian President Vladimir Putin that this was not the era of wars, in a sign of greater American appreciation for India’s position on Ukraine.
Blinken was speaking to reporters after meeting Foreign Minister S Jaishankar at the State Department on Tuesday.
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For his part, Jaishankar reiterated India’s position on Ukraine, provided previously unknown details on India’s role in assisting negotiations on grain shipments between Russia and India. Ukraine and the ongoing discussions in Delhi on specific issues regarding the conflict between different actors, and clarified that India’s energy security came first when it came to proposing a price cap.
The two ministers hailed the growing partnership between India and the United States. Jaishankar said it had been a “very positive and encouraging experience” working with the United States to shape the direction of the world while Blinken called US-India relations one of the world’s most important partnerships for address all vital global challenges, and said he was pleased that both sides “talked about everything”.
In his opening remarks, Blinken referred to Prime Minister Modi’s remarks to Putin in Samarkand and Jaishankar’s speeches to the UN Security Council and General Assembly, where India said it was on the side of peace and the charter of the United Nations and said that the United States was also on the same side.
In response to a question about India’s role in Ukraine, he said: “I really want to underscore what Prime Minister Modi said because I think he captured it as well as anyone I have. heard basically what this moment is. He said this is not a time, this is not the time for war. We couldn’t agree more.
He then recalled how the United States had seen the threat of Russian aggression rising last year, they had tried to stop it, yet Putin went ahead and now Ukraine and the world were suffering the consequences. consequences. Blinken said it was in everyone’s interest to see Russia end its aggression. “If Russia chooses to stop fighting, the war ends. But if Ukraine stops fighting, Ukraine stops. Stating that at present there was no sign that Putin was willing to engage in meaningful diplomacy, Blinken returned to India and said: “I think it is very important that as important as India’s are being heard and that is why I thought the Prime Minister’s comments were so significant, as well as his clear support for the UN Charter.
Jaishankar reiterated India’s position in favor of peace and dialogue and underlined the consequences of the conflict for the countries of the South in terms of food, energy and fertilizer security and trade disruptions.
Asked about Indian efforts to end the war, “We have taken a private, public, confidential and consistent position that this conflict is in no one’s interest…In the past, wherever we have been able to bring something thing, we were open to that.
The minister said he was in touch with many of his colleagues, both within G-20 countries and members of the UNSC and beyond. He said: ‘During the discussions on the shipment of grain to the Black Sea, we were approached to weigh in with Russia at a very delicate moment in the negotiations we had. Jaishankar added that he had met with the Ukrainian Prime Minister who mentioned specific issues “where he thought we could be of help”; he also met, on another set of issues, with the UN Secretary General who had also been active on specific issues relating to the conflict to see what could be resolved and mitigated even in the current circumstances. The minister said it would not be appropriate for him to go into more detail than that.
But there also remained clear differences in some respects between the two sides. As the United States, along with other G7 countries, moves to impose price caps on Russian oil, Jaishankar made it clear that energy markets are under severe strain and Southern countries had struggled to compete for limited energy not just in terms of cost but also availability.
While saying that he and Blinken had briefly discussed the price cap issue and that technical discussions were ongoing between the two parties, Jaishankar said, “Our concern is that the already strained energy markets need to s ‘soften. We will judge any situation by how it affects us and other countries in the Global South. To a later question on the price cap, “We have concerns about the price of oil. We are a $2,000 per capita economy. The price of oil is breaking our backs. This is our great concern. »