External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar outlined India’s position in the Russian-Ukrainian conflict by emphasising that India was not sitting on the fence but was rather entitled to its own opinion when it came to foreign policy.
“I am not sitting on the fence just because I don’t agree with you. It means I am sitting on my ground…the big challenges, climate change, terrorism…,” Jaishankar emphasised while addressing GLOBESEC 2022 Bratislava Forum (Slovakia).
His address was titled ‘Taking friendship to the next level: Allies in the Indo-Pacific’.
Jaishankar said the country’s foreign policy was not based on accepting a “construct” that it had to side with a power axis, or it belonged to another camp if it did not side with one. “I (India) am one-fifth of the world’s population. I am what, today the 5th or 6th largest economy in the world. Forget the history and civilisation bit; everybody knows that. I feel I am entitled to have my own side. I am entitled to weigh my own interests, and make my own choices.
My choices will not be cynical and transactional. They will be a balance of my values and my interests. There is no country in the world which disregards its interests,” he added.
“Europe has to grow out of the mindset that its problems are world’s problems, but world’s problems aren’t Europe’s problems. Today linkages are being made between China & India and what is happening in Ukraine. Come on guys, China & India happened way before Ukraine. It’s not a clever argument,” Jaishankar noted. (www. economictimes.indiatimes.com)