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German envoy Ackermann praises Modi's 'today's era is not of war' message, says it resonated in Europe

German envoy said there has been a "certain shift" in India's position on the war in Ukraine as he referred to the Indian statement on the UN resolution. Ackermann said Germany would not "blame" the Indian side for buying crude oil from Russia, but what it expects is a clear positioning saying international laws must be adhered to.

German Ambassador Ackermann praises PM Modi todays era is not of war message says it resonated in Europe gcw
First Published Oct 23, 2022, 5:34 PM IST

The German ambassador to India, Philipp Ackermann, praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "clear" message to Russian President Vladimir Putin that "today's period is not of war" and praised India's appeal for preserving the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries.

According to the Indian statement on the UN resolution against Moscow's annexation of four Ukrainian areas, the envoy claimed in an exclusive interview with PTI that there has been a "certain shift" in India's perspective on the conflict in Ukraine. Germany, according to Ackermann, would not "shame" the Indian side for purchasing crude oil from Russia, but it does want a clear stance that international law must be upheld.

Ackermann elaborated on the necessity for an international alliance of like-minded nations to address the war's impact on the world's energy supply, noting that Germany included India in this category. He said when asked about Prime Minister Modi's appeal to President Putin to halt the conflict: "It is a statement that has resonated widely, extensively across the region in a really good way."

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"It is a very beautiful phrase. The whole world was listening to it.  I don't think I can emphasise enough how strongly I agreed with Prime Minister Modi in that phrase, which I believe was extremely loud and very obvious," he added.

On September 16, during their private meeting in Uzbekistan, Modi urged Putin to put a stop to the crisis, asserting that "today's era is not of war." In addition to supplying humanitarian supplies to Ukraine, Germany has played a crucial role in developing Europe's plan to address the situation there by providing sanctuary to more than a million Ukrainian refugees.

Ackermann also mentioned India's remark at the UN during the debate over a resolution on the annexation of four areas of Ukraine by Russia, even though New Delhi did not participate in the vote. He emphasised the need of respecting sovereignty, territorial integrity, and international law and noted a growing similarity between the German and Indian positions on the problem.

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"I won't hold the Indian side responsible for purchasing Russian electricity. What we anticipate is a firm stance stating that we must uphold international law," he added.

The statements made by the German envoy came against a backdrop of rising unease in Western nations about India's continued abstention from votes against the Russian invasion of Ukraine and its expanding purchase of crude oil from Moscow.

The German envoy said the G-20 nations should discuss the energy problem at their next summit in Indonesia next month, but he cautioned that because Russia is a member of the organisation, a unified position may not be reached. The moment has come, according to Ackermann, to devise strategies for reducing reliance on fossil fuels and for fostering collaboration to increase the supply of clean fuel.

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In May, Prime Minister Modi travelled to Germany for the sixth round of Inter-Governmental Consultations, where he met with Chancellor Olaf Scholz in-depth. In June, he returned to Germany to take part in the G7 conference.

(With PTI inputs)

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