Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar responded on Tuesday to criticism India received for purchasing Russian oil during the conflict in Ukraine. He justified the Indian decision.
During a meeting with the Indian diaspora in Bangkok, Mr. Jaishankar said that every nation would strive to get the best deal possible to mitigate rising energy costs. India is doing the same thing.
He said that gas and oil prices are out of control and that many traditional suppliers are switching to Europe due to the continent’s declining Russian imports. In response to a question, Mr. Jaishankar said, “Europe is purchasing considerably more from the Middle East and other sources who would have supplied India.”
“Currently, every nation will naturally want to secure the best possible terms for its inhabitants and lessen the effect of the high cost of energy. Exactly that is what we are doing “the foreign minister replied.
India, though, is not acting defensively. He said that the Indian populace cannot afford the high energy costs and that the nation has been transparent and honest about its objectives.
“I live in a nation where the average person makes $2000. Individuals who can afford increasing energy costs are not such people. I have a moral and legal responsibility to make sure I get the greatest possible agreement for them, “Mr. Jaishankar added.
He said the US and other nations know India’s stance and would “go on with that.”
On several occasions, the foreign minister has defended India’s purchases of Russian oil on public stages. He had previously said at an April 2+2 ministerial discussion in the US that India’s oil buy from Russia in a month is probably less than what Europe does in an afternoon.
Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February, India has increased its purchases of Russian oil, reaching a record high of almost 950,000 barrels per day in June, according to statistics from Reuters.