India says Australia understands its position on Ukraine

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Australia understands India's stance on Russia's invasion of Ukraine, India's foreign secretary told reporters on Monday following a virtual summit between the prime ministers of Australia and India.

India's Narendra Modi and Australia's Scott Morrison, both leaders of the Quad grouping that also includes the United States and Japan, discussed issues in the Indo-Pacific region and strengthening bilateral trade relations.

India is the only Quad member that has not criticised Russia's aggression.

"Prime Minister Morrison was quite clear that as far as he was concerned the Quad's focus was on the Indo-Pacific," Indian Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said.

"He also expressed understanding of India's position on the issue of Ukraine, which he felt definitely reflected our own situation, our own considerations."

India counts Russia as one of its old allies that supplies about 60% of its military hardware.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Saturday told Modi in New Delhi that Russia's invasion had shaken the "foundation of international order" and required a clear response.

Shringla said Australia was also investing $15 billion in Asia's third largest economy.

(Reporting by Krishna N. Das and Aftab Ahmed, Editing by Toby Chopra and Ed Osmond)

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