New Delhi: French President Emmanuel Macron, during a media briefing at the G20 summit, emphasized that the G20 leaders’ declaration has “confirmed” Russia’s isolation concerning the Ukraine crisis. He also commended India’s presidency of the G20 for promoting unity and peace worldwide. Macron also noted that while the G20 is not a platform for political discussions, the majority of its member countries have “condemned” Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“This G20 confirms once again the isolation of Russia. Today, an overwhelming majority of G20 members condemn the war in Ukraine and its impact,” President Macron stated. These remarks came a day after the G20 leaders unanimously adopted the New Delhi declaration, carefully avoiding direct mention of the Russian invasion of Ukraine—a move widely perceived as a concession by Western powers on the conflict.
Macron acknowledged India’s efforts as the G20 president to convey a message of unity and peace to the world amid Russia’s ongoing aggression against Ukraine. The declaration called for the protection of principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity, urging all states to refrain from the “threat, or use, of force” for territorial acquisition. Furthermore, it expressed the G20’s commitment to achieving “just and lasting” peace in Ukraine.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida added that Russia’s “invasion” of Ukraine could potentially disrupt cooperation within the G20 and have a significant impact on the global economy.
PM Modi, Macron vow to expand India-France defence ties
In a separate development, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Macron reaffirmed their commitment to expanding Indo-French defence ties. During their meeting on the sidelines of the G20 summit, they pledged to enhance cooperation in the design, development, and production of advanced defence platforms, including for third-party nations in the Indo-Pacific region.
The leaders also urged the early finalization of a proposed defence industrial roadmap and acknowledged progress in discussions regarding the Jaitapur nuclear project. They welcomed the engagement of both nations in developing small modular reactors (SMRs) and advanced modular reactors (AMRs) technologies, along with the forthcoming declaration of intent in this regard.
Macron, highlighting the strength of the India-France relationship, emphasized that it goes beyond bilateral engagement and stressed the importance of countering the “fragmentation” of the world. While specific details were not provided, he mentioned that additional contracts and procurements would follow in the coming months and years.
The joint statement issued following their meeting covered various aspects of cooperation, including defence, space, nuclear energy, digital infrastructure, critical technology, climate change, education, and people-to-people contacts. It also highlighted their commitment to working together in the Indo-Pacific region and Africa, encompassing infrastructure, connectivity, energy, biodiversity, sustainability, and industrial projects.
The leaders discussed progress in bilateral relations since their previous meeting in July and reaffirmed their commitment to international law, sovereignty, and the principles enshrined in the UN Charter. They emphasized the need for India and France to collaborate on addressing regional and global challenges.
In a nod to the success of India’s Chandrayaan 3 mission, Macron congratulated Prime Minister Modi. They also reviewed the progress made in India-France space cooperation since the first strategic space dialogue held in June 2023.
PM Modi and Macron underlined the importance of expanding their collaboration across various domains, including digitalization, science, technology, education, culture, health, and the environment, with a focus on strengthening institutional linkages.
In turbulent times reshaping the global order, the leaders reiterated their unwavering commitment to serve as a force for good and uphold the message of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’—”one earth, one family, one future.” They highlighted the Indo-French Campus for the Indo-Pacific as a model for enhancing institutional ties in these areas.
The G20 summit showcased India’s efforts to promote global unity and peace, while simultaneously addressing key defence and strategic partnerships, and underlined the growing isolation of Russia in the context of the Ukraine crisis.