Home / News / India /  Will never sign into what others have cooked up: Jaishankar on price cap for Russian oil

On multiple occasions, several countries of the world have accused India of funding the Russia-Ukraine war or being a war profiteer over its procurement of discounted Russian oil. Union Minister of External Affairs S. Jaishankar on Wednesday vehemently rejected such charges and asserted that India tried to diffuse the situation around Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant and also quietly helped in the grain deal between Moscow and Kyiv.

On the imposition of a price cap on Russian oil, the minister described it as a decision of Western nations, which was taken without any consultations with India. He also asserted that the country will never automatically sign what others have cooked up.

In December, Western nations led by the United States (US) imposed a price of Russian oil at $60 a barrel. The move was aimed at preventing Russia from its share of oil profits which the country was using for the war in Ukraine.

Jaishankar affirmed India's readiness to diffuse the situation around Ukraine during an interview with an Austrian newspaper.

To the question about buying Russian oil, Jaishankar pointed towards oil markets that have already driven up due to sanctions on Iran or the situation in Venezuela. "In such a situation, it makes diplomatic and economic sense to look around the market for the best deal. Would Europe pay more if it didn't have to?" he asked.

“Europe imported about USD 120 billion worth of energy from Russia after the war broke out. That's six times as much as we bought," the minister added.

Jaishankar gave a stern reply when the interviewer pointed out that the European countries are now reducing energy imports from Russia.

"Why is that? When Europe reduces its imports from Russia, it has to go to other oil markets. And those markets have been our main sources. If you take away my food, what am I going to do? Starve," he asked.

The minister invoked "location, interests, and history" when the interviewer asked why India abstained from condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

"There are also incidents in Asia, where countries in Europe or Latin America do not feel the need to take a position. What happened in Ukraine is closer to Europe," he noted.

"Europe has a different history with Russia than India. We also have different interests in Ukraine than you do. Almost all states will say that they support the principles of the UN Charter. But look at the world of the last 75 years: Have all UN members really always followed the UN Charter and never sent troops to another country?" he asked.

On China's rise, Jaishankar asserted that no region can be dominated by a single nation. "The more India grows, the greater our economic weight and political influence become, and the better it is not only for us but also for the world. Not only the world order but also Asia must become multipolar," he said.

"No region will be stable if it is dominated by a single power. The essence of international relations is for states to get along and find a balance," he added.

(With inputs from PTI)

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