Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday emphasised on the need to “return to a path of dialogue and diplomacy” to resolve the crisis in Ukraine. He made the remarks at a virtual summit of Quad leaders.

Modi said that the Quad must remain focused on its core objective of promoting peace, stability and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region.

United States President Joe Biden, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida also took part in the summit.

The four leaders discussed the developments in Ukraine, including its “humanitarian implications”, according to a press release by the Ministry of External Affairs.

According to a joint statement, the Quad leaders discussed the conflict in Ukraine and assessed its broader implications.

The four leaders “agreed to stand up a new humanitarian assistance and disaster relief mechanism which will enable the Quad to meet future humanitarian challenges in the Indo-Pacific and provide a channel for communication as they each address and respond to the crisis in Ukraine,” the joint statement read.

Meanwhile, Kishida said that the four countries agreed that “unilateral changes to the status quo with force like this should not be allowed in the Indo-Pacific region,” Reuters reported.

In a similar vein, Morrison said that Quad countries are resolute in their commitment to a free India-Pacific region “where smaller states do not need to live in fear of more powerful ones,” according to the agency.

“We cannot allow what is happening in Ukraine now to ever happen in the Indo-Pacific,” he said.

The leaders of the Quad countries held the summit even as Russia’s attack on Ukraine entered its eighth day.

Since the attack on Ukraine began on February 24, India has abstained from voting on three United Nations resolutions on the subject. The latest such resolution, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday, deplored the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

TS Trimurti, India’s permanent representative to the United Nations, in an explanation of the vote had said that the country decided to abstain “keeping in view the totality of the evolving situation”.

He said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had conveyed to the leaders of Russia and Ukraine that they need to resolve conflicts through dialogue and diplomacy.