Addressing a press briefing at the conclusion of the first leg of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Europe visit on Monday (local time), newly appointed Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra said that India's position on the ongoing war in Ukraine "amply takes care of our principles as also our interests".
The Foreign Secretary made the remarks, in response to a question asking "what India's value space considerations are in this conflict (in Ukraine)?"
"We have consistently right from the onset of the conflict talked about an immediate and early cessation of hostilities and the resolution path which goes through diplomacy and dialogue. I think these have been the central pillars in terms of our position which we have explained many times," Foreign Secretary Kwatra said.
"The question of principles, question of values, question of interests... I think eventually it's a question of balancing principles and interests and I think our position amply takes care of our principles as also our interests," the Foreign Secretary added.
"In terms of oil embargo again, if you look at the actual situation on the ground, I think the oil imports by India from Russia is probably a small fraction of what perhaps the rest of the world imports from Russia," the Foreign Secretary said.
The briefing started with Foreign Secretary Kwatra summarising the Germany visit of PM Modi which included participation in the Inter-Governmental Consultations, as well as interaction with business leaders with the German chancellor Olaf Scholz.
"It has been an intense day, but it has also been extremely productive both in terms of the range of discussions, the scope of the partnership, assessment of the overall range of the cooperation and the agenda chopped out in terms of what the two countries and the two systems will be working together on going forward in months and years ahead," the Foreign Secretary said.
The Foreign Secretary also highlighted that a number of bilateral documents were signed between the two countries, including 10 billion euros of new and additional development assistance to India until 2030, triangular development cooperation, migration and mobility partnership agreement, collaboration on green hydrogen and renewables among others.
The briefing took place shortly after the conclusion of the private dinner hosted by German chancellor Scholz for PM Modi, which was the final segment of the Prime Minister's official program in Germany.
PM Modi today also held a bilateral meeting with Chancellor Scholz. This was their first engagement since Chancellor Scholz assumed office in December 2021.
Discussions covered key areas of bilateral cooperation under the overall strategic partnership, as well as regional and global developments.
PM Modi is scheduled to visit Denmark on Tuesday to hold talks with leaders from Nordic countries. He will also make a stopover in Paris on Wednesday and meet the newly re-elected French President Emmanuel Macron.
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