BERLIN >> Germany and India signed a series of bilateral agreements Monday focused on sustainable development that will see the South Asian nation receive 10 billion euros ($10.5 billion) in aid by 2030 to boost the use of clean energy.
The accords were signed during a visit to Berlin by India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. Germany Chancellor Olaf Scholz is seeking to elicit India’s support for the tough stance taken by Europe and the United States toward Russia over the war in Ukraine.
Modi reiterated his call to both Russia and Ukraine to end the fighting, saying: “We believe that no party can emerge victorious in this war.”
But unlike Scholz — who accused Russia of undermining “fundamental principles of international law — Modi refrained from any overt criticism of Moscow. Russia, a major supplier of arms to India, has previously praised Modi’s government for its “neutral” stance on the conflict.
Reporters were not permitted to ask questions after the two leaders spoke — an unusual arrangement at the German chancellery where at least four questions are routinely permitted during high-level visits. The decision was taken at the insistence of the Indian delegation, said a German official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.
The agreements covered issues ranging from technical assistance to increasing the use of renewable energy and hydrogen, to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, protecting biodiversity and improving agricultural land use.
The environmental group Germanwatch welcomed the accords, describing India as a “swing state” for global efforts to tackle climate change.
“Accelerating the energy transition there is a vital contribution to staying within the 1.5-degree limit,” said its policy director Christoph Bals, referring to the warming threshold set in the 2015 Paris climate agreement. He urged other members of the Group of Seven major industrialized economies to reach similar agreements with India.
Scholz has invited India, Indonesia, Senegal and South Africa to attend the next G-7 summit in Germany at the end of June.
Other areas of cooperation agreed upon between the two countries Monday center on migration, nuclear research and the establishment of secure communications channels between the two governments.