Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday called for a return to the path of “ceasefire and diplomacy” to resolve the raging Ukraine conflict, and opposed any restrictions on the supply of energy, amid the West’s call against procurement of discounted Russian oil and gas.

In an address at the G-20 summit here, Modi said that climate change, the Covid-19 pandemic, the developments in Ukraine and the global problems associated with it have caused havoc in the world and that the global supply chains are in “ruins”.

Referring to India’s upcoming G-20 presidency, Modi said he was confident when the leaders of the grouping meet in the “holy land of Buddha and Gandhi, we will all agree to convey a strong message of peace to the world.” Speaking at the session on food and energy security, the prime minister highlighted the implications of global problems and said there is a crisis of essentials and essential goods all over the world and that the challenge for the poor citizens of every country is “more severe” today.

The prime minister’s call for not putting any restrictions on energy supplies came amid the West’s call against procurement of Russian oil and gas in view of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. India has been procuring discounted Russian crude oil.

“By 2030, half of our electricity will be generated from renewable sources. Time-bound and affordable finance and sustainable supply of technology to developing countries is essential for inclusive energy transition,” he added at the summit being held in this Indonesian city.

On the Ukraine conflict, he referred to his repeated call for resolving the crisis through talks.“I have repeatedly said that we have to find a way to return to the path of ceasefire and diplomacy in Ukraine. Over the past century, the Second World War wreaked havoc in the world,” he said.

“After that, the leaders of that time made a serious effort to take the path of peace. Now it’s our turn. The onus of creating a new world order for the post-Covid period lies on our shoulders,” he noted.

The prime minister said the need of the hour is to show “concrete and collective resolve” to ensure peace, harmony and security in the world.

“There is a crisis of essentials, essential goods all over the world. The challenge for the poor citizens of every country is more severe. Everyday life was already a struggle for them,” he said.

The prime minister also added that the poor do not have the financial capacity to deal with the “double whammy” “Due to the double whammy, they lack the financial capacity to handle it. We should also not hesitate to acknowledge that multilateral institutions such as the UN have been unsuccessful on these issues,” he said.

“And we have all failed to make suitable reforms in them. Therefore, today the world has greater expectations from the G-20, the relevance of our group has become more significant,” he added.

The prime minister also highlighted India’s efforts to ensure food security during the pandemic.

The prime minister said India is promoting natural farming, and re-popularising nutritious and traditional foodgrains like millets for sustainable food security.

“Millets can also solve global malnutrition and hunger. We all must celebrate the International Year of Millets with great enthusiasm next year,” he said.

The G20 comprises 19 countries: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the UK, the USA and the European Union (EU). PTI MPB ZH MRJ AKJ MRJ

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