Saturday 28 May 2022
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Jaishankar asks US to preach Europe first

'… I suspect, looking at figures, our purchases for the month would be less than what Europe does in an afternoon,' S Jaishankar replied to the advice from Blinken not to buy Russian oil

Since this morning, a short video of Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar’s answer to a question at a joint press conference is going viral where he calls out the hypocrisy of the US in pressuring India to stop buying crude oil from Russia while America’s European allies have been importing many times the volume of fuel from the country that invaded Ukraine.

The US had told India yesterday that buying Russian energy was not in its as it tried to pit India against Russia, given its war on Ukraine. The US tried to get India on its team alongside the western nations and allies and tried to draw a parallel between the Indo-Pacific and Russia’s so-called ‘military operation’ in Ukraine.

Jaishankar was quick to remind US persons present in Washington that the US should extend similar suggestions to its allies in western Europe who are more dependent on Russia than India.

While the US advised India to gradually move away from Russia, the union minister of external affairs insisted that the US look closely at its western allies before advising India not to import energy resources from Russia. “India’s relationship with Russia has developed over decades but times have changed. Today we are willing to be partners in all spheres. That was the nature of conversation today,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said. The US asks its allies to not make energy or imports of other nature from Russia, he held.

Jaishankar in an apparent response to the statement, when questioned by the American on India’s purchase of crude oil from Russia said that the US should advise the same to its European allies. “If you’re looking at energy purchases from Russia, I’d suggest your attention should be on Europe. We buy some energy necessary for our energy security. But I suspect, looking at figures, our purchases for the month would be less than what Europe does in an afternoon,” Jaishankar said.

Union Minister of Defence Rajnath Singh, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Union Minister of External Affairs minister Jaishankar and US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin addressed the joint press conference following the fourth ministerial dialogue between the two countries.

The US repeated its warning that if Russia was not countered it may encourage other regimes to gather courage and make similar moves, indicating towards China and its aggressive posture in the Himalayas as well as the South China Sea.

However, Jaishankar said that India and the US continued to cooperate across several domains and the impact of the cooperation is global as well as visible. “We can take satisfaction in the strength of the progress that we have made whether it’s our $ 160 billion trade account, our 200,000 students, our highest recorded investment levels, or our rapidly growing energy trade. The yardsticks to measure growing closeness tell their own story,” Jaishankar added.

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