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Modi signals Putin’s war in Ukraine a challenge for India as G20 host


India’s Prime Minister hinted at Russia’s war in Ukraine as one of crises that will face the Group of 20 nations as the South Asian nation took over the presidency of the collective Thursday.

The world remains “trapped in the same zero-sum mindset,” Modi wrote in an editorial in the Times of India newspaper. “We see it when countries fight over territory or resources. We see it when supplies of essential goods are weaponized.”

The comment underscores New Delhi’s balancing act — especially when it comes to Vladimir Putin’s war — as it begins hosting G-20 meetings. Modi and his administration have positioned India as a driving force of unity when it hosts the summit and events that precede it.

“Our priorities will be shaped in consultation with not just our partners, but also our fellow-travelers in the global South, whose voice often goes unheard,” Modi wrote.

Earlier this year, Modi urged the Russian president to seek peace in Ukraine, following neighbor and rival China in expressing concern about the conflict that has been roiling the global economy.

India will try and build consensus among nations to “depoliticize” the supply chains of food and fertilizer made scarce by the war, Modi wrote Thursday.

India has abstained from United Nations votes to condemn Russia’s war in Ukraine and held back from participating in US-led efforts against Moscow. Instead, New Delhi has taken the opportunity to snap up cheaper Russian oil for its economic benefit.

Modi also appeared to take a dig at West for hoarding Covid-19 vaccines “even as billions remain vulnerable.”

India has earlier said it will use the presidency to focus on climate action, energy security, stronger public health systems and the accelerate the 2030 sustainable development goals.


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