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Ukraine War: India reminds Russia of BRICS stand of not using force

Source : Sunday Guardian LIVE

India reminds Russia of BRICS stand of not using force
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Even as Russia wants the “BRICS” to bat for it amid the global brickbats over its aggression against Ukraine, India has reminded Moscow of the “New Delhi declaration” of the BRICS—Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa—summit that “disallows use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any country”. Sources in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) told The Sunday Guardian that “External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar referred to this declaration while holding telephonic talks with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov on Thursday night.” “The foreign ministers of South Africa and Brazil also spoke to their Russian counterpart and reminded him of the New Delhi Declaration, asking Russia to resolve the dispute through dialogue and diplomacy,” sources told this newspaper.

“Except China, the other members of the BRICS grouping, Brazil, India and South Africa have stepped up pressure on Russia through diplomatic channels to stop the Ukraine invasion and start a dialogue to resolve the crisis immediately,” said a diplomat. “The New Delhi declaration of BRICS 13th summit clearly says that all disputes should be resolved by peaceful means. The declaration is firmly against any use of force against any state,” the diplomat said.

Paragraph 22 of the New Delhi declaration adopted on 9 September 2021, states: “We express our concern at the continuing conflicts and violence in different parts of the world. We endorse the position taken by our Foreign Ministers at their last meeting on the situation in Africa, the Middle East and North Africa, the Palestinian-Israeli issue, the Syrian Arab Republic, Yemen, Afghanistan, Korean Peninsula, the Iran nuclear issue and Myanmar. We reaffirm our commitment to the principles of non-interference in the internal affairs of States and reiterate that all conflicts must be resolved by peaceful means and through political and diplomatic efforts in line with international law, in particular the UN Charter. We underscore the inadmissibility of the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State, or in any other manner inconsistent with the purposes and principles of the United Nations.”

Diplomats told this newspaper that “Russian President Vladimir Putin has also been reminded of the New Delhi declaration of the BRICS”. Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his telephonic conversation with the Russian President has already underlined the need for immediate cessation of war and commencement of dialogue.

According to sources, EAM Jaishankar told Sergey Lavrov that dialogue and diplomacy are the best way forward, and the same has been emphasised by BRICS summits time and again in terms of relations between different countries. Sources said that the Russian Foreign Minister wanted BRICS nations to back Putin’s action in UNSC. “India, South Africa and Brazil made it clear that their stand would remain unchanged, and that is to promote dialogue and diplomacy for resolving the problems between the warring nations,” sources said.

A key BRICS member, South Africa’s foreign ministry is said to be in touch with the MEA on a regular basis amid the Russian aggression against Ukraine. South Africa has also urged Russia to withdraw its forces immediately and seek resolution of the dispute through dialogue.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro may have scolded his Vice President Hamilton Mourao for condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but he has underlined the need to ensure that peace prevails in the troubled region. He also expressed concern about the safety of Brazilian citizens in Ukraine. In fact, Brazilian Vice President Mourao recently condemned the invasion, following which President Bolsonaro said only he, the President, could speak about the Russia-Ukraine crisis, and that it was not Mourao’s business. Bolsonaro had recently met Putin in what was said to be the Russian leader’s bid to garner support from BRICS members.

Brazil’s foreign ministry expressed concern about Russia’s military operations and urged a diplomatic solution. Sources said Brazilian Foreign Minister Carlos Franca has updated India on Brasilia’s stand on the development. “India may have abstained on a US-sponsored UNSC resolution that deplored Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, but it is relentlessly increasing diplomatic pressure on Moscow to move back from war,” sources said. “That dialogue is the only answer to settling differences and disputes is the firm stand of India.” In a message to Russia, India has regretted that the path of diplomacy was given up.

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