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Home / News / India /  ‘Let’s be even-handed': Jaishankar slams Europe's criticism of India's oil trade with Russia. Key points
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Outlining India's position on the Russia-Ukraine war, external affairs minister S Jaishankar said on Friday that Europe has to grow out of the mindset that “its problems are the world's problems".

While addressing GLOBESEC 2022 Bratislava Forum (Slovakia), Jaishankar rejected the European construct that New Delhi's position on Ukraine could impact global support for it if its problems with Beijing increase.

He also asserted that India does not make foreign policy choices that are “cynical or transactional" in nature.

Key points to know:

  • Jaishankar slammed Europe for its constant criticism of India for purchasing Russian oil even as he questioned the US’ decision to not lift the sanctions on Iranian and Venezuelan oil.
  • He asked if it is only Indian money and oil coming to India that is funding the Russian war. “Today, Europe is buying [Russian] oil, Europe is buying [Russian] gas. The new package of sanctions is designed in a way where consideration has been given to the welfare of its population. People need to understand that if you can be considerate to yourself, surely you can be considerate to others," he said. 
  • “Why countries in Europe and West and the United States, why don't they allow Iranian oil in the market why don't they allow Venezuela oil to come to the market? They have squeezed every other source of oil we have and then say you will not go to the market and get the best deal for the people, it's not a fair approach," said Jaishankar. 
  • He also rubbished reports of trans-shipment of Russian fuel from India. "Understand the oil market there is an enormous shortage of oil, there is a physical shortage of oil, access to oil is difficult, a country like India would be crazy to get the oil from somebody else and sell to somebody else, this is nonsense," Jaishankar said.
  • He defended and justified the recent move to curtail wheat exports. He said Indian wheat was stocked and it was used for speculative trading. “Low-income countries, many of whom are traditional buyers like our neighbours Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, interestingly Gulf, buy from us regularly. Yemen buys from us, Sudan buys from us, what we saw was low-income buyers were squeezed out, wheat was actually being stocked for being traded, so our goodwill was being used for speculation," he said. 
  • Amid persistent efforts by the European countries to convince India to take a tough position on the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Jaishankar said that Europe has to grow out of the mindset that its problems are the world's problems but the world's problems are not Europe's problems.
  • On arguments that New Delhi may face a similar challenge from China in the future, Jaishankar said: “In terms of the connection you are making, we have a difficult relationship with China and we are perfectly capable of managing it. If I get global understanding and support, obviously it is of help to me."
  • Jaishankar said Europe was also silent on many developments in Asia. "If I were to take Europe collectively which has been singularly silent on many things which were happening, for example in Asia, you could ask why would anybody in Asia trust Europe on anything at all," he said.
  • He said India's position in terms of the Ukrainian conflict is very clear, that it wants a de-escalation of tensions. "In terms of what is happening with the Ukraine conflict, our position is very clear that we favour an immediate cessation of hostilities. Its not that we have ignored it unless you call phone calls to (Vladimir) Putin and (Volodymyr) Zelenskyy as ignoring something," he said. 

 

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