- It’s becoming increasingly exasperating to read anything related to the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine. For it shows nothing but widespread destruction, loss of lives and property, unmitigated miseries, and pulling both countries back economically by at least a couple of decades. Make no mistake, no wars usher in prosperity but only leave behind trails of devastation which will pose monumental challenges for the authorities in rebuilding the ravaged civilization all over again. Merely introspecting the foolhardiness of waging a war in this era makes one shudder. War means developments in several fields of the modern-day world undertaken with such diligence over the years are washed away in a matter of days. This madness must stop.
PC: Keith Speights
- However, the Russian president’s intransigence even in the face of setbacks is driving the world crazy. Sanctions, pressure tactics, wise counselling, and persuasions have failed to deter Putin to back. In fact, he went to the extent of mentioning the use of tactical nuclear weapons at some point during the last month when things appeared going downhill. Against this backdrop, the G20 summit provided a platform for global leaders to congregate in one place to address this matter. As such, the G20 declaration adopted a nuanced position on Ukraine was no surprise. Of course, G7 nations were pushing for an outright condemnation of Russia’s invasion. But the final text reiterated the previous national positions of the forum members.
- The statement noted that a majority strongly condemned the war and its impact on the global economy. It also acknowledged some countries had a different assessment. This compromise isn’t surprising since G20 was never a forum to resolve security issues. It is to India’s credit that it successfully worked quietly behind the scenes to finalise a declaration acceptable to all sides. Indeed, India’s imprint was visible in the document that echoed PM Modi’s now widely quoted advice to President Putin – today’s era is not of war. Nonetheless, a realistic end to the war is nowhere in sight as Russia launched around 100 missiles into Ukraine targeting energy infrastructure recently. Escalation appears imminent as the conflict stands right now.
PC: Jane Drake Brockman, Manjeet Kripalani
- Needless to mention, before the escalation reaches a point of no return, Russia and Ukraine must find a way back to the negotiating table. True, this would be a bitter pill for Ukraine given that it is still being attacked by Russia. Russian troops continue to occupy Ukrainian territory and Moscow has self-certified the annexation of four Ukrainian regions. But given Ukrainian advances in recent weeks and Russia’s recent withdrawal from Kherson, Kyiv’s current ground position is roughly what it was just before the war again. Therefore, the Ukrainian leadership today is in a relative position of strength to begin negotiations with Moscow. It’s time the US, EU, China, and India must take the lead to douse the conflict with renewed vigour.