Leaders at the G20 summit on Wednesday called for an immediate end to the Ukraine conflict, holding that “today’s era must not be of war”, a formulation that echoed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s message to Russian President Vladimir Putin in September.
A communique was issued at the end of the two-day summit that extensively deliberated on the Russian invasion of Ukraine and its implications for the world.
It said the members of the grouping have called for peace, cessation of hostilities and an end to the war in Ukraine, underlining that the continuation of the ongoing situation will have adverse impacts on food and energy security.
“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,” the communique said.
In his bilateral meeting with Putin in Uzbekistan on September 16, Modi said “today’s era is not of war” and nudged him to end the conflict.
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The declaration said many G20 members strongly condemned Russia’s war against Ukraine and expressed the view that Moscow’s “illegal, unjustified and unprovoked war of aggression against Ukraine is impairing the global economic recovery.”
India played a key and critical role in bringing consensus amongst all countries on the communique, people familiar with the matter said.
India worked in partnership with all developing countries and emerging markets to draft the final statement and the preamble to the statement, they said.
India emerged as a leader, solution provider and consensus builder through its positive and constructive approach, they added.
“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,” the G20 communique said.
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It said the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons is inadmissible, in an apparent reference to Moscow’s reported indication that it could use the nuclear option.
“The meeting was held under challenging circumstances, as the war in Ukraine continues and its impacts are felt by countries beyond Europe. Members expressed deep concerns about the humanitarian crisis, economic and financial impacts of the war, and called for an end to the war as soon as possible,” the communique said.
It said many member countries condemned the war as unprovoked and unjustifiable, and a violation of international law.
“Few members expressed that G20 should be faithful to its own mandate and ensure the discussions focus on economic impacts and take a comprehensive and balanced approach. Some members expressed concerns about the economic consequences of sanctions,” it added.
The communique said the leaders are “gravely concerned” by the increased and ongoing conflicts in many parts of the world, including the one in Ukraine.
“Members have called for peace, cessation of hostilities and an end to war. We underline that the continuation of the on-going situation will have adverse impacts on food and energy security, climate change and environment degradation, as well as the attainment of sustainable development goals,” it said.
Since the Ukraine conflict began in February, Prime Minister Modi spoke to Russian President Putin as well as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy a number of times.
In a phone conversation with Zelenskyy on October 4, Modi said that there can be “no military solution” and that India is ready to contribute to any peace efforts.
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India has not yet condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine and it has been maintaining that the crisis must be resolved through diplomacy and dialogue.
The communique said some G20 members denounced any attempt to completely or partially disrupt digital connectivity infrastructure, and the digital ecosystem, as well as peaceful international trade and commerce.
“These include the war in Ukraine that undermines the integrity of the digital economy,” it said.
It said many members condemn Russia’s war in Ukraine which has impacted access to learning and education.
“We are meeting under the challenge of the fulfilment of the right to quality education and its continuity for all at all times, particularly at times of crises, pandemics, natural disasters, political conflicts all around the world,” it noted.