Russian President Vladimir Putin praised the Indian leadership on Thursday for managing to avoid “politicization” of the G20 during its presidency, noting that the platform was initially established to deal with economic challenges globally. “The G20 [leaders’ summit] was a success of the Indian authorities and of Prime Minister Narendra Modi personally, and the Indian authorities managed to achieve a balance, including in the Delhi Declaration,” Putin said at the Valdai International Discussion Club on Thursday. “Prime Minister [Modi] managed to depoliticize the decisions that were made at the summit, and that was the only way to go, because the G20 was established as a platform to discuss economic matters, not political matters. And since politicization of the G20 is the path to destroy it, the Indian authorities managed to avoid that,” Putin added. He also referred to India as an ancient global civilization with vast potential. The Indian presidency in the G20 successfully accomplished the diplomatically complex mission of reaching a consensus among the fractured grouping of the world’s most influential economies over the wording of the summit’s joint communique. The Delhi Declaration, which was adopted on the first day of the summit held in the Indian capital last month, achieved a full consensus over 83 paragraphs. In a separate remark, commenting on the attempts of Western countries to “turn India away” from Moscow, the Russian leader emphasized that New Delhi was focused on its “national interests” when it comes to its foreign policy. “The Indian leadership, I want to say, is independent, very nationally oriented and I think that these attempts [to tear India away from Russia] do not make any sense, but nevertheless they continue,” Putin said. He also suggested that the West was trying to “create an enemy out of everyone who is unwilling to blindly follow the Western elites.” He noted that “everyone was at risk,” including China, and, to a certain extent, India. The Indian leadership, Putin suggested, is “acting independently in the interests of its nation.” ( )

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