Indian diplomacy will be put to the ultimate test when American, Chinese, and Russian ministers meet in Delhi.

As a result of Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, Thursday’s gathering of foreign ministers from the world’s largest economies in New Delhi was seen as a significant test for Indian diplomacy.

At the second high-level ministerial meeting this year under India’s G20 presidency, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, India’s foreign minister, met with his American, Chinese, and Russian counterparts. At the summit’s conclusion, he hoped to present a joint statement with sufficient common ground.

However, Jaishankar acknowledged that the conflict had difficulty uniting the group and that New Delhi was unable to persuade the leaders to put aside their disagreements regarding the war with Moscow.

With a population of more than 1.3 billion, India, the largest democracy in the world, has sought to position itself as a leader of emerging and developing nations, or the Global South. This occurs at a time when war-related spikes in the price of food and energy are hammering consumers, who are already struggling with inflation and rising costs.

Earlier on Thursday, in his opening remarks, Prime Minister Narendra Modi talked about a number of crises that are affecting the world, with poorer nations being particularly affected.

“The experience of the last few years, including the financial crisis, climate change, the pandemic, terrorism, and wars, clearly shows that global governance has failed,” Modi stated.

He asserts that “richer countries” are making global warming worse, and that “we must also admit that the tragic consequences of this failure are being faced most over by the developing countries.”

Modi recognized that the contention in Ukraine was causing “profound worldwide divisions” concerning the contention. However, he urged the foreign ministers to put their differences aside during their Thursday meeting.

“We should not allow issues that we cannot resolve together to get in the way of issues that we can resolve together,” he stated.

On the sidelines of the summit, according to a State Department official who was traveling with Antony Blinken, Blinken met with his Russian counterpart, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

The same official says that Blinken and Lavrov talked for about ten minutes.

The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ spokesperson, Maria Zakharova, acknowledged to CNN that the meeting took place but downplayed its significance.

“Blinken requested that Lavrov be contacted. Sergey Viktorovich (Lavrov) spoke during the twenty-second session while the group was moving. She stated that there were no meetings, negotiations, or similar events.

At the point when G20 finance bosses couldn’t come to a settlement on a proclamation following their gathering, they likewise had profound conflicts about Russia’s intrusion of Ukraine.

China and Russia rejected the joint statement that criticized Moscow’s invasion. India was left with the responsibility of publishing a “chair’s summary and outcome document,” which acknowledged disagreements and provided a summary of the two days of negotiations.

Analysts say that throughout the war, New Delhi has been able to strike a balance between its ties to Russia and the West. Modi has emerged as a leader who has been courted by both sides.

In any case, as the conflict enters its subsequent year and strains keep on rising, Modi’s statecraft might be scrutinized as nations, including India, might be forced to take a more grounded position against Russia.

The G20 summit, arguably India’s most anticipated event of the year, has received extensive domestic promotion, with Modi’s face plastered on vast billboards all over the country. This is India’s balancing act. Roads have been cleaned and buildings have been painted in preparation for the dignitaries’ visit.

His political allies have been eager to promote Modi’s international credentials, portraying him as an important player in the international system in the “mother of democracies” under his leadership.

The G20 leaders’ summit in Bali, Indonesia, last year issued a joint declaration that echoed what Modi had said to Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of a regional summit in Uzbekistan weeks earlier.

It read, “Today’s era must not be of war,” which led Indian officials and media to assert that India had served as a link between Russia, which was isolated, and the United States and its allies.

India is proud of its ability to maintain peace in its relationships, according to analysts. The nation has refused to include a condemnation of Moscow’s heinous attack on Ukraine in a number of UN resolutions, just like China has done. By increasing its purchases of Russian oil, coal, and fertilizer rather than cutting economic ties with the Kremlin, India has undermined Western sanctions.

India, in contrast to China, has gotten closer to the West, particularly the United States, despite its ties with Russia.

India continues to heavily rely on the Kremlin for military supplies due to the ongoing tensions between China and India at their shared Himalayan border. Moscow and New Delhi have been friends since the Cold War.

In recent months, the United States of America and India have taken steps to strengthen their defense partnership in an effort to counter the rise of an increasingly assertive China.

Even though India’s leaders “might want to work with a finish to this contention that jelly New Delhi’s relations with both Washington and Moscow and closures the disturbance of the global economy,” senior counselor for South Asia for the US Foundation of Harmony (USIP) Daniel Markey stated that India did not have “a specific influence” with Russia or Ukraine that would make a settlement likely.

Other world leaders, in my opinion, are just as interested in helping to make peace through diplomatic means. “Putin will have no shortage of diplomats hoping to assist him when and if he wishes to come to the table to negotiate,” he stated.

In spite of the fact that Putin’s aggression continues to wreak havoc on the global economy, Modi stated in his opening speech earlier on Thursday that India had indicated its intention to raise the numerous challenges the global South faces, such as food and energy security and climate change.

“The world looks to the G20 to ease the challenges of growth, development, economic resilience, disaster resilience, financial stability, transnational crime, corruption, terrorism, and food and energy security,” Modi stated in his statement.

Navigating tensions According to experts, despite the fact that Modi’s government appears eager to concentrate on domestic issues, tensions between the United States, Russia, and China may outweigh these issues. Washington’s concerns that Beijing might provide lethal assistance to the Kremlin’s struggling war effort have recently contributed to the rise in these tensions.

The US colleague secretary of state for monetary and business issues, Ramin Toloui, expressed to correspondents last week that while Secretary of State Antony Blinken would underline the US’s endeavors to address food and energy security concerns, he would likewise “highlight the harm that Russia’s conflict of animosity has caused.”

Blinken will, according to Toloui, “encourage all G20 partners to redouble their calls for a just, peaceful, and lasting end to the Kremlin’s war in accordance with UN Charter principles,” according to the statement.

Russia also made a statement on Wednesday, saying that it was “set to clearly state Russia’s assessments” of the current food and energy crisis and calling the United States and the European Union “terrorism.”

“We will draw attention to the destructive barriers that the West is multiplying exponentially to block the export of goods that are of critical importance to the global economy, including energy sources and agricultural products,” Russia said, hinting at the difficulties New Delhi might face during the meeting.

India has “worked very hard not to be boxed into one side or the other,” according to Markey. He continued by stating that the nation was unable to “afford to alienate Russia or the US, and Modi does not want discussion of the war to force any difficult decisions or to distract from other issues, like green, sustainable economic development.” He added that the nation was unable to “afford to alienate Russia or the US.”

Yet, after the US military destroyed what it claims was a Chinese government operative inflatable that flew an over American area, relations among Washington and Beijing have decayed, and New Delhi should cautiously direct troublesome exchanges between contradicting perspectives.

China maintains that the civilian research aircraft that was accidentally blown off course by the balloon that was shot down by US forces in February was actually a balloon. Blinken had to put off a trip to Beijing he had planned.

India was initially in a very difficult position, according to analysts, even though the outcome of the ministerial meeting on Thursday will disappoint the country.

“It will be a disappointment for Modi, but not one that cannot be managed,” Markey stated. Additionally, India would not be to blame because it would primarily reflect fundamental disagreements over which Modi has very little control.

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