PM Modi is set to present an exhaustive peace initiative for immediate end to hostilities between Russia and Ukraine at the G-20 summit. Besides China and US, most of the European powers are expected to throw their weight behind India’s initiative. A report by Gopal Misra
Indian PM Narendra Modi is expected to present an exhaustive peace initiative for immediate ceasefire in Russia-Ukraine war at the G-20 meeting. American President Joe Biden, empowered with a reasonable success in the US mid-term polls, will be meeting his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the international meet, especially, when the reports of an embarrassing retreat of Russian forces from the southern city Ukrainian, Kherson have already poured in.
It could not have been a more opportune time for India to embark upon a peace offensive at G-20 amidst the reports that the elections held reaffirm that most of the Americans are averse in prolonging the 10-month old Russia-Ukraine conflict, especially when the anti-war protests have already overwhelmed Europe. If Europe is under siege due to an unprecedented energy crisis, the Americans are facing the rising heat of spiralling inflation, pushing up prices of essential goods by 40 per cent.
It is not known what Biden is going to tell Jinping, but it is expected that he might persuade China to work out a reasonable framework for ending the conflict. Jinping being a strong negotiator might ask the US to dilute NATO’s agenda against China including the much talked about militarisation of India-Pacific under the umbrella of QUAD comprising America, India, Australia and Japan.
Biden, having an agenda for his party, Democrat’s victory in the 2024 presidential polls, knows quite well that it is going to be difficult for him to continue his liberal ‘blank cheque’ war funding to Ukraine.
Just a week before the G-20 summit scheduled in Indonesia on November 15-16, S Jaishankar, foreign minister, had held a series of meetings with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov, and had also exchanged ideas with the US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken. Jinping reinvigorated with a new five-year term by amending the country’s basic law, perhaps, like to promote peace through ‘back-door’ diplomacy.
Initial indications are that Russian President, Vladimir Putin, may be participating only through a video call, therefore, Modi and Jinping have to contribute to the peace process, if Biden endorses. Earlier, Modi had embarked upon his peace initiative at the SCO summit held in Uzbekistan in September 2022, when he told Putin that war has no place in the contemporary world.
The peace proposal may get support of the most of the European powers at G-20, but Modi’s meeting with the new British PM, Rishi Sunak, could be substantial, especially when the U.K. is providing lethal weapons to Ukraine. In the US, Biden’s political opponents accuse him of trying to compensate for his eroding popularity by seeking open sale of marijuana and releasing a large number of criminals. It was considered as a last minute effort of a beleaguered president seeking a political constituency among the country’s drug addicts.
Trump, who never accepted Biden victory to the presidency accusing of manipulating poll verdict, has been cautioning Americans that their country would soon be ravaged on Democrats’ supporting illegal immigration, criminals and drugs.
The US Congress, composed of the House of Representatives and the Senate, is controlled by Biden’s Democrats, but the Republicans have established a majority in the House of Representatives. In the Senate too, the Democrats and Republicans have equal strength of 49 each. The electorate of Georgia would be again voting for the Senate seat on December six, which is expected to decide who finally controls the House. Earlier, in the polling, none among the contestants could get more than 50 per cent as mandated in the state law to qualify for the Senate in Georgia.
The mood in the USA is to discontinue the ongoing war against Russia through Ukraine, considered a proxy of the West. Meanwhile, since India will be hosting the G-20 summit in 2023, therefore, it is natural for Modi to be keen in ending conflict. He is ready to go an extra mile for ending the unnecessary avoidable war. India expects that the war should not overshadow the summit, when the world leaders meet in New Delhi next year.