As India differs on the prospect of a Ukrainian invasion, the Melbourne Quad summit talks security and pandemic recovery.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison (centre) with foreign ministers (from left) of Australia, India, Japan and the United States who met in Melbourne on Friday.

Over the possibility of a Russian invasion in Ukraine, India’s External Affairs Minister has broken ranks with his Quad counterparts, arguing that the group should focus on cooperation and partnership rather than conflict.

On Friday, foreign ministers from India, Australia, Japan, and the United States gathered in Melbourne to examine how they could coordinate efforts on a wide range of issues, including maritime security, pandemic recovery, immunization, cyber security, and global supply chain concerns.

The ministers did, however, discuss the developing crisis in Ukraine, with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken describing Russia’s military threats as a challenge to the rules-based order that mattered to the Quad despite being “half a globe away.”

“What’s at stake isn’t just Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty independence, as vital as that is, but very basic ideals,” he told reporters following the meeting.

“Principles like ‘one country’ cannot be used to forcibly alter the borders of another. Principles like ‘one country’ can’t just tell another country what to do, what policies to pursue, or who to partner with.

“If we allow those ideas to be challenged with impunity, it will have an influence here as well, even if it’s half a world away in Europe.”

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