Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said he and his Danish counterpart Mette Frederiksen exchanged perspectives on the Ukraine war and appealed for an immediate ceasefire as well as return to the path of dialogue and diplomacy to resolve the crisis. Frederiksen, meanwhile, said she hoped that India will use its influence over Russia to end the war.
“We appealed for immediate ceasefire in Ukraine and return to dialogue and diplomacy for resolving the crisis,” Modi said, while addressing a press conference soon after the talks. Frederiksen hoped that India will influence Russia on Ukraine and asked Russian President Vladimir Putin to “stop this war and end the killings”.
“My message is very clear that Putin has got to stop this war and to end the killings. I, of course, hope that India will influence Russia also in this discussion,” she said.
The two leaders also stressed on ensuring a “free, open and inclusive” Indo-Pacific region during their talks in Copenhagen. Modi arrived at the Danish capital on the second leg of his ‘three-day, three-nation’ Europe tour. He held talks with Frederiksen at her official residence Marienborg.
India, which shares strong bilateral relations with Russia, has not openly condemned the Ukraine war in strong language but has chosen to call for ceasefire and diplomatic talks to resolve the issue. Frederiksen said the two leaders also discussed the consequences of war crimes committed against civilians and the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine. “The reports on killings of civilians in Bucha are deeply shocking. We have condemned these killings and we stress the need for an independent investigation,” she added.
India, Denmark review green partnership
During delegation level talks led by Modi and Frederiksen, India and Denmark reviewed progress in the Green Strategic Partnership. They also discussed wide-ranging cooperation in areas of skill development, climate, renewable energy, Arctic, P2P ties among others.
Modi said India’s infrastructure sector and ‘green’ industries had a lot of investment opportunities for Danish companies and pension funds.
“More than 200 Danish companies are operating in various sectors in India – such as wind energy, shipping, consultancy, food processing, engineering, etc. They are getting the benefits of growing ‘Ease of Doing Business’ and our macroeconomic reforms,” the PM said.
Frederiksen said the two countries were moving fast in transforming the Green Strategic Partnership into concrete results. “The Indian government has high ambitions for the green transition. I am proud that Danish solutions play a key role in realising these important ambitions,” she added.
Modi also said India and Denmark shared values of democracy, freedom of expression, and the rule of law. Agreeing with him, Frederiksen said, “We share many values. We are two democratic nations, we both believe in a rule-based international system. In times such as these, we need to build an even stronger bridge between us.”
Frederiksen’s ‘special gesture’
In a “special gesture”, Frederiksen received PM Modi at the airport in Copenhagen when he arrived earlier in the day. Modi tweeted: “Landed in Copenhagen. I am very grateful to PM Frederiksen for the warm welcome. This visit will go a long way in further cementing India-Denmark ties,” Modi tweeted after landing in Copenhagen. This is the prime minister’s first visit to Denmark, where he will take part in bilateral and multilateral engagements on Tuesday and Wednesday.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 3, 2022
The ministry of external affairs tweeted: “PM @Statsmin Mette Frederiksen of Denmark receives PM @narendramodi at the Copenhagen airport. Heartwarming to see this special gesture from our Green Partner. Both leaders will now travel to Marienborg, the official residence of the PM of Denmark.”
Soon after reaching Marienborg, PM Modi took a private tour of the residence and was accompanied by Frederiksen.
Apart from attending the second India-Nordic summit on Wednesday, Modi will also meet Queen Margrethe II and attend the India-Denmark Business Roundtable and interact with the Indian community in Denmark. Over 200 Danish companies in India are actively engaged in taking forward flagship government initiatives such as Make in India, Jal Jeevan Mission, Digital India among others. Over 60 Indian companies in Denmark, mainly in the IT sector, are further cementing bilateral business-to-business ties. Denmark is home to a robust Indian diaspora of 16,000 people.
Modi will also meet PMs of Iceland, Finland, Sweden and Norway on the sidelines of the India-Nordic summit. The summit will focus on economic engagement, green partnership and mobility and cooperation in the Arctic region. India’s trade with Nordic countries stands at over $5 billion (2020-21) and a cumulative FDI of over $3 billion (April 2000-March 2021).
(With PTI inputs)