AP

Australia understands India’s stance on Ukraine, after talks

Mar 21, 2022, 4:42 AM | Updated: 5:58 am

This photograph released by India's Press Information Bureau shows Indian Prime Minister Narendra M...

This photograph released by India's Press Information Bureau shows Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaking during a virtual summit with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, March 21, 2022. Australia said it understands New Delhi's position on the ongoing Ukraine crisis, as the two countries aim to focus on stability in the Indo-Pacific region and pushing through a major trade deal, India’s foreign secretary said on Monday. (Press Information Bureau via AP)

(Press Information Bureau via AP)

Australia said it understands New Delhi’s position on the ongoing Ukraine crisis, as the two countries aim to focus on stability in the Indo-Pacific region and pushing through a major trade deal, India’s foreign secretary said on Monday.

The comments from Harsh Vardhan Shringla came after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Australian counterpart, Scott Morrison, concluded a virtual summit.

Shringla told reporters Morrison “expressed understanding of India’s position on the issue of Ukraine, which he felt directly reflected our own situation, our own considerations”.

In his opening remarks earlier, Morrison referenced the situation in Ukraine, calling it a “very distressing backdrop” to the meeting.

“While we are obviously very distressed by the situation in Europe, our focus is always very much on what is occurring in the Indo-Pacific and ensuring that those events never occur here,” he said.

Modi, however, did not mention Ukraine. Instead, he emphasized India’s commitment to a “free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific”.

Both leaders stressed the progress of the Quad, an alliance of Australia, India, Japan and the United States that aims to counter China’s rising influence in Asia. “The success of the Quad is critical to regional and global stability,” Modi said.

India is the only Quad member that has not condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. It has refrained from taking sides and abstained from voting against Russia at the U.N. or criticizing President Vladimir Putin. Analysts say India’s position stems from New Delhi’s reliance on Russia, which was a Cold War ally for energy, weapons and support in conflicts with its neighbors.

Modi and Morrison said they would also prioritize building economic relations and the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement for which negotiations first began in 2011. Talks on an interim trade deal were ongoing with the hope of reaching an outcome “at the earliest,” Shringla said at a press briefing after the virtual summit.

A joint statement including more details on investments into various areas like defense, maritime cooperation, renewable energy, space and critical minerals will be released later on Monday. Bilateral trade between the two countries has grown over the years, reaching around $20 billion annually in 2020, according to government data.

Monday’s summit was the second one after the first was held in 2020, where Modi and Morrison upgraded the India-Australia relationship with a raft of agreements, focused on strengthening defense ties and cooperation on Indo-Pacific maritime issues.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Most Americans are sleepy new Gallup poll finds...

Associated Press

Most Americans say they don’t get enough sleep, according to new Gallup poll

A new Gallup poll found that most Americans are sleepy — or, at least, they say they are. Multiple factors play into this.

1 day ago

Near-total abortion ban in Arizona dates back to Civil War era...

Associated Press

Near-total abortion ban dates back to 1864, during the Civil War, before Arizona was a state

The near-total abortion ban resurrected last week by the Arizona Supreme Court dates to 1864, when settlers were encroaching on tribal lands.

2 days ago

Tracy Toulou...

Associated Press

How to tackle crime in Indian Country? Empower tribal justice, ex-Justice Department official says

A recently retired director of the Justice Dept. says the federal government hasn't given tribal justice systems equal recognition.

2 days ago

Speaker of the House Mike Johnson...

Associated Press

House Speaker Mike Johnson says he will push for aid to Israel and Ukraine this week

House Speaker Mike Johnson said Sunday he will try to advance wartime aid for Israel this week, along with funding for Ukraine.

3 days ago

President Joe Biden speaks at a campaign rally Saturday, March 9, 2024, at Pullman Yards in Atlanta...

Associated Press

US shoots down ‘nearly all’ Iran-launched attack drones as Biden vows support for Israel’s defense

Joe Biden cut short a weekend stay at his beach house to meet with his national security team as Iran launched an attack against Israel.

4 days ago

Protesters in Phoenix shout as they join thousands marching around the Arizona state Capitol after ...

Associated Press

Abortion ruling supercharges Arizona to be an especially important swing state

A ruling this week instituting a near-total abortion ban supercharged Arizona's role, turning it into the most critical battleground.

4 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

COLLINS COMFORT MASTERS

Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.

...

Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Avoid a potential emergency and get your home’s heating and furnace safety checked

With the weather getting colder throughout the Valley, the best time to make sure your heating is all up to date is now. 

Australia understands India’s stance on Ukraine, after talks