World talks about crisis & solutions at Raisina Dialogue

Former UK Prime Minister says India’s position is potentially more powerful than ever and that it is absurd India is not permanent member of UN Security Council

Our Bureau
New Delhi

The countries are not affected by the Moscow-Kyiv conflict but the sanctions and policy of blackmail, which the West is promoting are the real reason behind their sufferings, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Friday.

While talking at the Raisina Dialogue, Lavrov said this is the war against everything Russian in Ukraine. Ukraine totally cancelled the Russian Language in their region but no one asked the question to Kyiv, Lavrov wondered. “The countries of the region are not affected by what we are doing in Ukraine. They are affected by the reaction of the West on our work in Ukraine. For decades, we we had warned them first that they should stop the expansion of NATO and pushing arms into Ukraine or prepare them for the war against us. I just participated in the G20 Ministerial,” the Russian Foreign Minister stated while answering the query on affected countries in the region by the Russia-Ukraine war.

“Our Western friends were shouting on the microphone ‘Russian must’. And though the developing countries delegates were also saying that ‘we want to stop the war when Russia is ready to negotiate’,” he added.

Lavrov further stated that he asked G20 members, who signed the declaration during the Bali summit, the question that whether the group ever reflected in the Declarations situation in Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, or in Yugoslavia.

He also said that these days when it is not something that the West is doing, believe that it is right. When Russia after many years of warnings started to defend itself, there is nothing except Ukraine. “It’s a shame and this policy would fail. If they say this is existential for them, it is existential for us,” he added.

Meanwhile, noting that the real challenge today is how to make sense of the shifting geo-politics, former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair has said that India’s position is potentially more powerful than ever with the G20 and that it is absurd to think that India is not permanent member of UN Security Council.

Blair, who was participating in panel discussion ‘Turbulence, Temperament, and Temerity: Leadership in the Age of Uncertainty’ on Friday during the Raisina Dialogue here, said India’s position in shifting geo-politics is absolutely critical because the progress the country has made in the last few years has been remarkable. He said the West has to share power.

“The trouble with the UN Security Council reform, which of course should happen…it’s absurd to think that India is not a permanent member but you could say that about other countries as well,” Blair said.

“But leave aside that because the problem always with reforming the UN Security Council is how do you get consensus? The West has got no option but to share the power. The question is how you make sense of international diplomacy in this new world,” he added.

Blair noted that India today is a bigger economy than Britain. “It is a geopolitical power, it is a post-colonial country that dominates the original English sport of cricket,” he said during the panel discussion that included External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and former England Cricketer Kevin Pietersen.

He said that increasingly around the world when countries are worried about whether they have to choose between the USA and China, “I think India is a country seen by many as an objective friend”.

Kevin Pietersen said that “the war, conflict and pandemic have made the world a scary place”. He said that if sport can be used to unite and bring people together, it should be used for the purpose. “The war is scary. Pandemics and future pandemics are scary. So, when we talk about cricket and the opportunity to unite, sport should be used. I think that sport can be used in some sort of fashion to be able to try and mend it (the world),” he said. A former captain of England cricket team, Pietersen was speaking on Friday at panel discussion ‘Turbulence, Temperament, And Temerity: Leadership in the Age of Uncertainty’ at Raisina Dialogue here.

Pietersen referred to the Russia-Ukraine conflict, COVID-19 pandemic and geopolitical tensions and said the world is at the moment is a scary place.

“Cricket is an issue because China and America don’t play cricket. Russia definitely doesn’t play cricket.” he said in a lighter vein.

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