Indian External Affairs Minister Reacts To The Disquiet Of Other Countries

S Jaishankar

Amidst the Russia – Ukraine Warfare, India’s decision to not vote against Russia at the UN general assembly did turn heads toward the country. Now that India has maintained its decision to buy discounted oil from Russia, the US and several other countries have questioned India’s decision to not stand against Russia. 

In a meeting with visiting British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar discussed several global issues. One of the subjects of their conversation was the tension between Ukraine and Russia. Jaishankar expressed his conicern on the matter and also explained India’s take on it.

Natural To Look For Good Deals: S Jaishankar

At the India-UK Strategic Futures Forum, S Jaishankar talked about India’s take on the Ukraine-Russia situation. While most countries have been trying to hint toward ending their business with Russia, India has actively expressed its interest in maintaining its purchase of Russian oil. 

Responding to the questions being raised, S Jaishankar asserted that when the fuel prices are rising exponentially, it is natural for a country to look for good deals that offer it fuel at better prices. Hence, if Russia is providing oil and gas at discounted prices, it is natural for a country to grab the deal, in order to protect the interests of its people.

Not Going To Tell India, What To Do:  Liz Truss

The UK has been quite critical of the Ukraine-Russian situation. Liz Truss asserted that in one year, the UK shall overcome all its dependency on Russia for oil and gas. She also asserted that the UK was planning on overcoming all the ties they have with Russia.

The recent invasion of Ukraine by Moscow came as shaking news for the world. UK foreign secretary asserted how the UK and several other European countries condemned the massacre Russia has been committing. 

Expressing her view on India’s decision to continue its purchase of Russian oil and gas, Truss asserted that India is a sovereign nation. It does not need to be told what to do. She was not going to tell India what to do, in matters like this one.

The Top 10 Buyers Of Russian Oil Are Europeans: India

Responding to the disquiet maintained amongst the European countries, about India’s decision to not stand against Russia, instead to buy their oil and gas, Jaishankar said that several European countries have been the biggest buyers of Russian oil and gas. 

Jaishankar added that if we wait for another 2-3 months, all the European buyers of Russian oil shall make a return on the list. He said that the top 10 buyers of Russian oil have always been European countries. And in a span of 2-3 three months, the list won’t be any different from what it used to be some time ago. He brought to light a report that said that in March, Europe had bought 15% more oil and gas than it did previously.

The India-UK Strategic Futures Forum was held at the same time when Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov arrived in India for a two-day visit.

India’s Procurement From Russia Is Less Than 1%: S Jaishankar

Jaishankar said that if you pick up the top 10 buyers of Russian oil and gas, you’re going to realize that all of these are European countries. Defending India, he said that the largest part of India’s energy supplies comes from the Middle East, 7.5 to 8 percent of its supplies are from the US, while from Russia its procurement has been less than a percent.

Britain To Reduce Dependency On Russian Oil In A Year: Liz Truss

Liz Truss asserted that Britain has been working hard to reduce its dependency on Russian oil. She said that the process is going to take time. Truss informed that G7 has curated a timetable that intends to guide the countries on how to reduce their oil consumption. Also, G7 intends to send a strong message to the market about their intentions to end dependency on Russian products.

Truss mentioned the steps taken by Germany. She asserted that Germany has been working on changing its energy and defense policy, affected by what has been happening to Ukraine. She said that we need to keep striving the same way. 

She emphasized that the sanctions against Russia be enforced. Truss said that constant pressure needs to be put on Putin, at the same time we need to supply weapons to Ukraine. She spoke about strengthening relationships with countries and how countries have become insecure looking at the massacre Putin has provoked in Ukraine. 

Should India Get Rid Of Its Oil And Gas Deal With Russia?

Oil and gas are the spine of a country’s machinery. Breaking its ties with Russia would be an impulsive decision that would harm India more than it would affect Russia. Also, India has continuously maintained its stand for diplomacy and the potential for solution in it.

Pulling out sanctions against Russia might not be the wisest decision. Instead bringing the two countries on common ground and negotiation could rule out a lot of issues between them. 

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