Paris Summit: Russia-Ukraine agree to cease fire

At a Paris Summit mediated by Germany and France, Russia and Ukraine agreed to restore peace by implementing cease fire. Both the countries also agreed on prisoner exchanges.

Highlights

On December 9, 2019, Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky agreed to cease fire in the eastern Ukraine by the end of 2019. The countries also pledged to disengage military forces in the other three additional regions of Ukraine by the end of March 2020.

During the meet, the issue of Russian gas exports through the Ukraine border have been fixed. However, the countries still disagree on certain issues like withdrawl of Russia-back troops, elections to be held by the separatist rebels in areas of Ukraine.

The Deadly Conflict

In 2014, Russia annexed the Crimea peninsula of Ukraine with the help of pro-Russian separatists. Following this, Russia conducted several military actions. Crimea Peninsula is located in the north of Black sea. The Peninsula is important as it had port access to the Black sea. In 2018, Russian Navy seized three Ukrainian ships in the Crimea Peninsula. In 2019, Zelensky won Presidential elections. Zelensky is the major competitor to the Russia supported leader Viktor Yanukovych.

India & Australia hold third 2+2 dialogue in New Delhi

The third India-Australia Secretary-level 2+2 dialogue was held on 9 December 2019 in New Delhi. The Indian side was led by Defense Secretary Ajay Kumar and Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale, while its counterpart delegation was led by Australia’s Defense Secretary Greg Moriarty and Foreign Secretary Frances Adamson.

Ahead of 3rd 2+2 dialogue, the two defense secretaries of India & Australia held a bilateral meeting. The Indian defense secretary expressed satisfaction on ongoing defense engagements between armed forces of two countries, and conveyed India’s commitment to further enhance defense cooperation with Australia, both in scope and complexity.

Highlights: India-Australia 2+2 dialogue

Both the sides discusses issues related to bilateral defense engagements, areas towards enhancing cooperation in field of defense industry/ defense technology as well as prevailing regional security concerns.

This year’s edition of 2+2 dialogue, assumes additional significance as they come months after India, Australia, Japan and United States (US) decided to upgrade their interactions in ‘Quadrilateral Security Dialogue’ (Quad) format to ministerial level in September 2019. All aspects of bilateral relations will be reviewed, with the focus on security and strategic relations.

The main focus of 2+2 dialogue will be on bilateral outcomes for Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s visit in January 2020. Morrison is visiting India at invitation of his counterpart Prime Minister Narendra Modi and will deliver the inaugural address at Raisina Dialogue.

India’s 2+2 Mechanism

India has put in place 2+2 dialogues, either at level of officials or ministers, with several key partners, including Japan and the US. The maiden India-Japan 2+2 ministerial dialogue, was also held in New Delhi. India and US are expected to hold their ministerial 2+2 dialogue in Washington, US on 18 December.