India continues to walk a diplomatic tightrope amid the ongoing Ukraine-Russia conflict, with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar lauding the country's 'advantageous' ties with Moscow on Tuesday. The remarks came during a closely watched trip to the other country, as experts speculate whether India will make use of its unique position as a friend of both the 'east' and the 'west' to broker peace.
Jaishankar's trip takes place at a time when India-Russia relations have been on an upswing with Russian President Vladimir Putin showering praise on "patriot" Prime Minister Narendra Modi and "talented" Indians in the last few days. The developments also come ahead of the G-20 summit in Bali (where the top leaders of Russia will come face to face with Western leaders for the first time since the beginning of the war) and New Delhi's impending presidency over the group.
Many now hope that India will voice widespread aspirations for an early end to Ukraine conflict and return to diplomacy and negotiations as the "leader of the global south". It is pertinent to note here that this point has been repeatedly stressed by Prime Minister Modi and other national leaders.
Since war broke out in February this year, India has consistently put its own interests front and centre - from the early days of student evacuation efforts to External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar's more recent assertions about oil imports. In spite of the volatile geo-political situation, both countries have also continued to take their 'Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership' to new highs.
"As the world's third-largest consumer... a consumer where the level of income is not very high, it is our obligation to ensure that the Indian consumer has the best possible access to the most advantageous terms on the international market...in that respect, the India-Russia relationship has worked to my advantage. If it works to my advantage, I would like to keep that going," he explained today while addressing queries about India's oil imports.
#WATCH | We have seen that India-Russia relationship has worked to advantage so if it works to my advantage I would… t.co/DVbotvk4gS— ANI (@ANI) Nov 8, 2022
Jaishnkar said on Tuesday that he had exchanged views on international issues with the Russian side, with the Ukraine conflict being the dominant feature. "As Prime Minister Narendra Modi conveyed to Russian President Putin: this is not an era of war. The global economy is simply too interdependent for significant conflict anywhere not to have major consequences elsewhere," he said.
But while India's stance remains seemingly unchanged, speculative reports have claimed that New Delhi had quietly assisted during pivotal moments in the ongoing conflict.Related News
West pins hope on New Delhi as EAM S Jaishankar embarks on Russia trip amid Ukraine war