New Delhi: Germany would have liked to have India on its side, clearly opposing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but Berlin understands New Delhi’s “challenges and constraints”, German National Security Adviser Jens Plötner said Wednesday.
Plötner made the comments as he arrived in New Delhi for a 12-hour visit to meet his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval, in a bid to “learn more” about India’s position. The move came as India witnesses a rush of high-level visits from Europe amid the deepening Russia-Ukraine conflict. India continues to bat for diplomacy and dialogue as a solution.
Plötner, whose visit was kept confidential until the last moment, also met External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and Foreign Secretary Harsh V. Shringla before his departure.
During an interaction with a select group of reporters before his meeting with Doval, Plötner was asked about the issue of India abstaining from a series of UN resolutions meant to punish Russia over the Ukraine war.
“We would have welcomed to have India in our camp. This having been said, everybody has his own geography, everybody has his own geopolitical setting in which it must evolve,” said Plötner, the foreign and security policy adviser to the German Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz. “You (India) live in a complicated neighbourhood. You have challenges and constraints of your own,” he added.
According to top-level Indian security sources, the visit of the German adviser came at a time “when several other high level foreign dignitaries are visiting India for consultations on ongoing bilateral, regional and multilateral issues”.
The sources said NSA Doval informed Plötner about India’s “consistent approach for the peaceful settlement of disputes” while discussing the Ukraine war, and said New Delhi’s approach is in accordance with international law and commitment to the UN Charter and the principles of respect for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of all states.
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