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G7 host Germany mulls excluding India from guest list over Russia stance

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date

Berlin: According to persons familiar with the situation, Germany is pondering whether to invite Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the Group of Seven summit it is hosting in June, given India’s hesitation to denounce Russia for invading Ukraine.

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Senegal, South Africa, and Indonesia are expected to attend the summit in Bavaria, but India is still being considered, according to the persons, who asked not to be identified because they were discussing private affairs. According to one of the sources, India was on a list prepared out before the war in Ukraine began, but no final decision had been made.

India was one of more than 50 nations that voted against suspending Russia from the UN Human Rights Council, and it has not imposed sanctions on the Russian government. It is a major purchaser of Russian armaments, which it claims it requires to deter China and Pakistan.

Berlin will release its list of guest guests as soon as it is ready, according to government spokesperson Steffen Hebestreit.

“The chancellor has repeatedly made clear that he would like to see as many international partners as possible joining the sanctions,” Hebestreit said. A foreign ministry spokesperson declined to comment.

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G-7 leadership

Germany has been chastised by countries such as Ukraine and Poland for its continued reliance on Russian energy supplies. Berlin has taken steps to reduce its reliance on Russian natural gas, but the country’s businesses still rely heavily on it to power their facilities.

The G-7 countries have led the charge in pursuing sanctions on Russia, with some even sending arms to Ukraine. They’ve tried to persuade other nations to censure President Vladimir Putin and impose restrictions on Russian trade and investment, notably in the energy sector. Many countries in Latin America, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, on the other hand, are wary of doing so.

One of the participants cited statistics indicating an increase in Russian oil supply to India after the invasion in late February. The individual said that this had not gone unnoticed at the chancellery.

According to Bloomberg, India has stated that it will continue to buy Russian oil, and Russia has been providing deliveries at a greatly reduced pricing. According to persons familiar with the situation, the administration in New Delhi also expects to increase exports to Russia by $2 billion while the two countries work out a payment arrangement in local currencies to keep commerce going.

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According to one source who requested not to be identified because he was discussing private discussions, German government officials have been in communication with their Indian colleagues since the start of the war. In late February, the two countries’ foreign ministers spoke over the phone.

President Joe Biden met with Modi via video chat on Monday, saying that the US is ready to assist India in diversifying its energy imports.

“The president has made clear that he does not believe it’s in India’s interest to accelerate or increase imports of Russian energy and other commodities,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters afterward.

The G-7 countries have also been debating how to deal with Putin if he attends the Group of 20 meeting in Indonesia later this year. They would insist on a strong condemnation of Russia in any G-20 statement, while also avoiding fostering divisions within the group.

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