India, according to Foreign Minister S Jaishankar, is not on the fence and has put forth its stand on the right to choose its foreign policies rather than side with other countries.
S Jaishankar, India’s external affairs minister, said on Thursday that his country’s foreign policy does not straddle the line merely because it may not be popular in other countries. “Just because I disagree with you does not mean I am on the fence. It indicates that I am seated on my turf ” Speaking at GLOBESEC on the topic of ‘Taking Friendship to the Next Level: Allies in the Indo-Pacific,’ the foreign minister added.
Regarding India’s purchase of Russian oil
When questioned if India’s purchase of Russian oil is billing the current conflict, Jaishankar responded, “I don’t want to come out as a snob. Buying Russian gas, on the other hand, isn’t subsidizing the war?”
He also rhetorically asked, is it true that the war is only being funded by Indian money and Russian oil flowing into India, and not by Russian gas flowing into Europe? Asking to play fair.
Concerns about India’s ‘ignorance’ of the Russia-Ukraine conflict
In response to a journalist’s inquiry on India’s ‘ignorance’ of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, Jaishankar said India condemned the Bucha death and demanded an investigation.
“In terms of the Ukraine issue, our position is crystal clear: we support an immediate cease of hostilities. We haven’t ignored it unless you consider phone calls to Putin and Zelensky to be ignoring.”
‘The world can’t remain Eurocentric.’
“A lot is going on outside of Europe. In our region of the world now, we have a lot of humanitarian and natural catastrophe responses, partly due to climate change. Many people seek us (India) for assistance. They used to wait for Europe to arrive, which it did with the 2004 Tsunami. The difference is that no one today ever considers that possibility. As a result, the world is changing, and new players and skills are emerging. However, a new agenda must be established. The globe can no longer be as Eurocentric as it once was” Jaishankar expressed his thoughts.
Who will India team up with?
Europe and the United States, or Russia and China? To this question he stated India is a democracy, a market economy, and a pluralistic culture, so they are not discriminatory. There are laws and contracts in place.
On international law, India has taken its position. That, he believes, should provide a good portion of the solution. Jaishankar was alluding to Quad when he said this.