Addressing a virtual meeting of the Brics foreign ministers that was chaired by his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, external affairs minister S Jaishankar said the group had repeatedly affirmed respect for sovereign equality, territorial integrity and international law and that it must live up to these commitments. Even as the military standoff with China continues, Jaishankar participated in the Brics meeting that saw the leaders supporting talks between Russia and Ukraine and expressing concern at the energy and food security implications of the conflict.
The mention of sovereignty and territorial integrity is significant in the context of both China, with which India is locked in a standoff in eastern Ladakh, and Russia which is accused of undermining the same in Ukraine.
According to an Indian statement, the ministers also expressed strong condemnation of terrorism whenever, wherever, and by whom-so-ever and also expressed commitment to combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, including the “cross-border movement of terrorists”. Jaishankar also said that the grouping must display “zero tolerance for terrorism, especially cross-border terrorism”, without naming Pakistan. “The knockon effects of the Ukraine conflict have led to sharp increases in the costs of energy, food and commodities. This must be mitigated for the sake of the developing world,” Jaishankar said.
“Brics has repeatedly affirmed respect for sovereign equality, territorial integrity and international law. We must live up to these commitments,” he added.
“The Brics should unanimously and specifically support UNSC reform. Together, we should press for credible commitment of resources by developed nations for climate action and climate justice,” Jaishankar said.