EAM Jaishankar defends India’s relationship during Austrian Visit

The Minister of External Affairs in the Indian government, Dr S Jaishankar, interviewed with an Austrian Journalist during his visit to Vienna on January 2, 2022. In the interview, India's External Affairs Minister received several questions about his stance on the Russia-Ukraine conflict, India's relationship with Russia and the energy crisis Europe faced due to the ongoing war for several months.

The Minister of External Affairs in the Indian government, Dr S Jaishankar, interviewed with an Austrian Journalist during his visit to Vienna on January 2, 2022. In the interview, India’s External Affairs Minister received several questions about his stance on the Russia-Ukraine conflict, India’s relationship with Russia and the energy crisis Europe faced due to the ongoing war for several months.

The Austrian Journalist questioned Dr Jaishankar on India’s decision to continue buying oil products from Russia despite the sanctions put on Russia by the international communities due to the struggle between Russia and Ukraine. Here, Dr Jaishankar has defended his government’s actions and presented India’s reasons for their continued relationship with Russia.

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Dr Jaishankar told the interviewer that Europe has reduced its imports and is dealing with the energy import crisis in a way that is most comfortable for Europe. He feels that the continent is managing the situation. At the same time, he spoke on the increased energy prices, saying that if Europe cares for their citizens, even though they have a 60,000 Euros per capita income, it is his and his nation’s responsibility to care about their population.

Dr S Jaishankar said, “I have a population of $2,000 per capita income, and I also need energy. He further noted he (India) is not in a position to pay higher prices now that the oil prices have doubled.

He further stated that with sanctions on Russia, Europe is also moving to the middle east. They are diverting production from the Middle East to Europe and increasing prices. Dr Jaishankar stated that Europe’s actions pressure global oil markets and drive prices upwards. At the same time, they are putting pressure on India’s export.

Thus, India’s external Affairs Minister stated that if Europe wants to soften the blow of increased oil prices on their own population, they should also extend the privilege to other leaderships.

Further, the journalist asked EAM Jaishankar if the nation is reluctant to criticize Moscow because Russia and India share a long relationship. In response, the minister of external affairs called out the European Nations and stated that the relationship between the two nations extends to when western democracies denied weapons to India while arming a military dictatorship called Pakistan.

He criticized Europe for its silence in the conflict between the two nations. He divulged the history of the two nations’ relationship stating that the relationship between India and Russia was forged because European Nations partnered with Pakistan.

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The interviewer asked the External Affairs minister if India was an ally of Moscow, and he said that Ally is a western terminology that India does not use.

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