WITH RUSSIAN President Vladimir Putin listening, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said the Ukraine conflict and the Covid pandemic have had a “major impact” on global supply chains, leading to shortages of foodgrains, fertilisers and fuels.
In an online plenary session address at the Eastern Economic Forum — being held in the Russian city of Vladivostok and also attended by Putin — Modi, without mentioning the Russian invasion, said India has stressed the need to pursue diplomacy and dialogue “since the beginning of the Ukraine conflict”.
India’s “ancient doctrine of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam has taught us to see the world as a family, and in today’s globalised world, events in one part of the world create an impact on the whole world,” said Modi. “The Ukraine conflict and the Covid pandemic have had a major impact on global supply chains. Shortages of foodgrains, fertilisers and fuels are a major concern for developing countries. Since the beginning of the Ukraine conflict, we have stressed the need to take the path of diplomacy and dialogue… We support all peaceful efforts to end this conflict,” he said.
Modi said India welcomes the recent agreement regarding the safe export of cereals and fertilisers. “India is keen to strengthen its partnership with Russia on Arctic issues. There is also immense potential for cooperation in the field of energy. Along with energy, India has also made significant investments in the Russian Far East in the areas of pharma and diamonds,” he said.
His comments come in the backdrop of concerns raised by the West, including the US and Europe, over countries buying oil from Russia. Ukraine has criticised India for buying Russian oil. Defending the decision, India has said it is buying oil to meet energy needs and minimise the inflationary impact.
On Wednesday, Modi said Russia can become an important partner for the Indian steel industry with the supply of coking coal, and there is scope for cooperation in the mobility of talent. “Indian talent has contributed to the development of many developed regions of the world. I believe that the talent and professionalism of Indians can bring about rapid development in the Russian Far East,” he said.
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Recalling his participation at the forum summit in 2019, Modi said India had announced its “Act Far-East” policy at that time, as a result of which its cooperation with the Russian Far East had increased in various fields.
“This policy has now become a key pillar of the ‘Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership’ between India and Russia,” he said.