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21 Feb, 2024 15:42

India’s voice should be heard – NATO member on Ukraine conflict

Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis has emphasized New Delhi’s role as a “consensus builder” on the global stage
India’s voice should be heard – NATO member on Ukraine conflict

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has stressed the importance of India “as a voice of reason” on the global stage, particularly amid tensions such as the Ukraine conflict and the war in Gaza.

Speaking at the Raisina Dialogue, New Delhi’s largest annual geopolitical gathering, Mitsotakis praised Indian counterpart Narendra Modi, who was among the audience, for directing his country toward growth. The Greek politician underscored India’s growing geopolitical weight, calling it a “leading democracy of the Global South” as well as “a consensus builder” and a “voice of reason.”  

Mitsotakis asserted that expanding partnership with India is a priority for the European Union, quoting European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s speech from the same stage in 2022. 

India and its partners in the West, including the US and EU, are not in full agreement on some global issues, notably the Ukraine conflict. Acknowledging the matter without naming it, the Greek premier admitted that nations around the world view the situation differently.   

“I understand that the countries that belong to the Global South see it as a European war. I hear all too often that we, Europeans, do apply double standard focusing on Ukraine at the expense of wars and crises elsewhere in the world,” Mitsotakis said.

He added that “maybe there is truth in that allegation,” while urging the audience in New Delhi to look at the Ukraine conflict as “much more than a local war on European soil.”  “I am convinced that in Ukraine, India has an important role to play, it has a voice that should be heard,” he said.

India has been continuously pressed over its reluctance to support US and EU sanctions against Moscow or condemn its actions in Ukraine. Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar brushed off yet another attempt to pressure New Delhi during the Munich Security Conference last weekend.

“Is that a problem? Why should it be a problem?” Jaishankar responded when asked about oil and arms purchases from Russia. “If I am smart enough to have multiple options, you should be admiring me. You should not be criticizing me,” the foreign minister stated while sitting next to his US and German counterparts, Antony Blinken and Annalena Baerbock.  

Meanwhile, Greek and Indian leaders also held bilateral talks in New Delhi on Wednesday, agreeing to double trade and move toward finalizing a mobility and migration partnership agreement that will facilitate skilled migration between the two nations. Bilateral trade between India and Greece stood at approximately $2 billion in 2022-23, with India exporting goods worth $785.72 million and importing goods worth $1.16 billion.  

Speaking at the Raisina Dialogue, Mitsotakis described the ties between the two nations as a partnership between “the world’s oldest democracy and world’s largest democracy.” He said that India, which is holding general elections this year, is an example of “democracy that can deliver.” The comments could be seen as encouragement for the Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party, which is predicted to secure a clear majority in the upcoming polls.

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