Modi’s ‘Today’s era must not be of war’ mention in G20 communique invites Russia, China objections

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By Our Special Correspondent

New Delhi, February 25: The western nations had hailed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s sagely advice to Russian President Vladimir Putin that “today’s era is not of war”, which found its way into the G20 communique, which was held back because of the objections by Russia and China.

The first meeting of the finance ministers of the G20 was held in Bengaluru, which put out a summary of the outcome in the absence of an agreement on the communique. China and Russia objected to two paragraphs in the communique, which dealt with the ongoing Ukraine War. The two paragraphs were sharply critical of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The fourth paragraph to which Russia and China didn’t agree had borrowed the words of Modi spoken to Putin on the sidelines of the bilateral during the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) last year in Samarkand. “The peaceful resolution of conflicts, efforts to address crises, as well as diplomacy and dialogue, are vital. Today’s era must not be of war,” noted the fourth paragraph.

The held back communique also made sharp comments on the threat of nuclear weapon in a clear reference to Putin, who announced suspension of Russia’s participations with the US on the Strategic Treaty on Arms Control (START). “It is essential to uphold international law and the multilateral system that safeguards peace and stability. This includes defending all the Purposes and Principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations and adhering to international humanitarian law, including the protection of civilians and infrastructure in armed conflicts. The use or threat of use of nuclear weapons is inadmissible,” added the summary put out by the G20 GM meeting.

The foreign ministers also took sharp views in the third paragraph on the cascading economic cost of the Ukraine war, which was also objected by Russia and China. “Since February 2022, we have also witnessed the war in Ukraine further adversely impact the global economy. There was a discussion on the issue. We reiterated our national positions as expressed in other fora, including the UN Security Council and the UN General Assembly, which, in Resolution No. ES-11/1 dated 2 March 2022, as adopted by majority vote (141 votes for, 5 against, 35 abstentions, 12 absent), deplores in the strongest terms the aggression by the Russian Federation against Ukraine and demands its complete and unconditional withdrawal from the territory of Ukraine,” added the paragraph, which was not supported by all the members of the G20.

The summary also stated that “there were other views and different assessments of the situation and sanctions. Recognising that the G20 is not the forum to resolve security issues, we acknowledge that security issues can have significant consequences for the global economy.”

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