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Welcoming Russia’s foreign minister is exactly what India should ...

World

Welcoming Russia’s foreign minister is exactly what India should be doing

Risks aside, the open line of communication between the countries could help end the war in Ukraine

Ruth Pollard

The diplomatic courting of New Delhi these past two weeks has been intense. India was one of only a handful of countries to abstain from a US-sponsored resolution in the UN Security Council condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Now it is under intense pressure to shift its stance.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has spoken to his UK counterpart Boris Johnson, held a virtual summit with Australian prime minister Scott Morrison and had an in-person meeting with Japan’s Fumio Kishida. Others to pass through the capital include the foreign ministers of Austria, Greece, Mexico and Oman, and US under secretary of state for political affairs Victoria Nuland. China’s foreign minister Wang Yi visited on March 25, generating serious scrutiny given the two nations’ fraught relations, while UK foreign secretary Liz Truss is also due in town this week.

Russia’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov arrived on Thursday, his presence bringing with it an awkward dilemma. Already accused of being on the wrong side of history on Ukraine, many will question whether New Delhi should be rolling out the welcome mat for Lavrov while the conflict, which has seen the Ukrainian city of Mariupol levelled and thousands of civilian deaths and injuries, grinds towards its sixth week...

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