Denmark asks India to prod Russia into ending war

Modi is the first Indian PM to visit Denmark in almost two decade
Last Updated 04 May 2022, 04:18 IST

Denmark asked India to use its influence over Russia to make it stop its war against Ukraine, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his counterpart in the North European nation, Mette Fredreiksen, in Copenhagen on Tuesday.

Modi is the first prime minister of India to embark on a bilateral visit to Denmark in almost two decades. New Delhi had, in 2012, scaled down its diplomatic ties with Copenhagen as a mark of protest after the Danish government refused to appeal to the Supreme Court of the country against the decision of the lower court rejecting plea for extradition of Kim Davy alias Niels Holck to India for his role in the 1995 arms dropping at Purulia in West Bengal.

“My message is very clear. (Russian President Vladimir) Putin has got to stop this war and to end the killings. I of course hope India will also influence Russia,” Frederiksen said as she and Modi jointly addressed the media-persons in Copenhagen. Her appeal to Modi to nudge Putin to pull back troops from Ukraine came even as the officials of the United States and other western nations expressed apprehensions that Russia might declare a full-fledged war against the East European nation by May 9.

Modi, however, stuck to New Delhi’s policy of avoiding criticism of Russia for its aggression against Ukraine, just as he had done during his meeting with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Berlin on Monday. He, however, did join Frederiksen in calling for immediate ceasefire and return to dialogue and diplomacy to resolve the conflict.

The two prime ministers, however, sought to add new momentum to the bilateral relations, notwithstanding criticism in western nations over New Delhi’s refusal to condemn Russia for its aggression against Ukraine as well as the continuing stalemate in legal proceedings in Denmark over extradition of Kim Davy to India.

Frederiksen, herself, welcomed Modi at the airport as the prime minister flew from Berlin to Copenhagen.

The Modi-Frederiksen meeting was followed by signing of as many as nine documents, including a declaration of intent on migration and mobility and a letter of intent between Invest India and Technical University of Denmark to facilitate start-up collaboration.

The two prime ministers welcomed the intention of both countries to deepen and expand the existing cooperation in the field of safe and secure water to meet present and future demand through a holistic and sustainable approach. They looked forward to the early signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Jal Shakti of the Government of India and the Danish Environment Ministry as a broad-based framework to enhance the existing cooperation and to launch new initiatives, including a Smart Laboratory on Clean River Water in Varanasi and a Centre of Excellence on Smart Water Resources Management.

Modi and Frederiksen had held a virtual summit in September 2020 and launched a Green Strategic Partnership for collaboration to promote green and sustainable growth. Frederiksen had visited New Delhi in October 2021 on an invitation from Modi. The two prime ministers on Tuesday agreed to work towards a Comprehensive Green Strategic Partnership after the existing joint action plan would end in 2026.

Modi and Frederiksen will join Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir of Iceland, Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre of Norway, Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson of Sweden and Prime Minister Sanna Marin of Finland for the second Indo-Nordic summit in Copenhagen on Wednesday.

(Published 03 May 2022, 21:23 IST)

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