French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire echoed Prime Minister Narendra Modi's stance on the ongoing Russian-Ukraine war, saying: "We share the view of PM Modi that this is not an era of war." Speaking at the G20 Finance Ministers' meeting in Bengaluru, Le Maire, said France "fully trusts India to reach a strong communique and is happy to see India in the driving seat today." The French minister said Paris has reaffirmed its strong condemnation of Russia against Ukraine. As a part of India’s presidency of the G20, Bruno Le Maire is on a visit to India. Le Maire participated in the G7 and the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meetings on Friday.
Earlier during the meeting with Russia's President, Vladimir Putin, on the sidelines of a regional security bloc summit in Uzbekistan, Prime Minister Modi had noted that “today’s era is not an era of war". “I know that today’s era is not an era of war, and I have spoken to you on the phone about this,” PM Modi told Putin. In response, Putin acknowledged that Russia understands New Delhi’s concerns about Ukraine's "special military operation" and that the two allies wanted it to end “as soon as possible”. Putin, however, reiterated that the "other side" of Ukraine had abandoned the negotiation process, and so, Russia sought to achieve its goals by military means, according to a Kremlin statement. The French minister on Friday brought back focus on PM Modi's remarks, as he pushed for Russia to stop the hostilities in neighbouring Ukraine.
We fully trust India to reach a strong communique & happy to see India in the driving seat today. We share the view of PM Modi that this is not an era of war: French minister Bruno Le Maire in Bengaluru on Ukraine war pic.twitter.com/2lJFEVJmPM— ANI (@ANI) February 24, 2023
If we want to have a strong & sustainable world for the next decade we need to have this war to be over: French minister Bruno Le Maire in Bengaluru on Ukraine war pic.twitter.com/LTTpDLw6Bx— ANI (@ANI) February 24, 2023
At the G7 finance meeting on Thursday and Friday, the French minister also held discussions on the global economic instability and the consequences of the war in Ukraine. He talked about the effectiveness of Western sanctions against Russia. France has been pushing for the need to strengthen economic and financial sanctions against Moscow "with a view to reducing Russia’s ability to supply, finance and continue the war effort." Le Maire also held a dialogue relating to the compromises on international tax reform to agree on a timetable, particularly concerning the signing of the multilateral convention on the taxation of the largest highly profitable multinationals (Pillar 1) in the summer of 2023, for entry into force in 2024.
As India inaugurated a G-20 meeting ahead of the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had urged global financial leaders to focus on the world’s “most vulnerable citizens." “I would urge that your discussions should focus on the most vulnerable citizens of the world,” PM Modi noted, adding that post-COVID-19, the global economy is marred with upteen challenges.
The COVID-19 pandemic and “rising geo-political tensions in different parts of the world” has resulted in unsustainable debt levels across developing countries of the world, PM Modi reiterated. US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, on the other hand, called on the G-7 ministers to approve more financial support for Ukraine and pressed for tougher sanctions on Russia for its brutal invasion. India has remained "neutral" on the war in Europe even as the European leaders, including German Finance Minister Christian Lindner, pushed for total isolation of Russia.