Answering a reporter at a conference External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar gave a resounding reply when the reporter said India risked sanctions for currency arrangements for energy purchases. “ If you are looking at energy purchases from Russia, I would suggest that your attention should be focused on Europe”, he said, and after pausing a second he added, “Probably our total purchases for the month would be less than what Europe does in an afternoon. So you might want to think about that”.
Earlier, answering a question on India’s oil purchases, President Joe Biden’s Spokesperson Jen Psaki noted that it was only 1 to 2 percent, while India bought about 10 percent of its energy needs from the US. Jaishankar replying to a Qatar TV reporter who asked “Why not condemn Russia’s Invasion? Wouldn’t this best reflect India’s foreign policy goals and international standing?”, the minister said “So first of all, thank you for the advice and suggestions in your question. I prefer to do it my way and articulate in my way”. Another from a Japanese news service asked Jaishankar, “do you think India has to reduce reliance on Russia economically and militarily as soon as possible?” Jaishankar gave a befitting answer to this reporter as well, he said, “This seems to be my day to get a lot of advice and suggestions from the press, so thank you for joining that.”
Speaking up for diplomats and strategists, Jaishankar told the reporter, “The world will keep changing. What we have to do in our profession is to watch it and see how your interests are best advanced in that.” He said, “We watch what’s happening in the world as any country does, and we draw our conclusions and make our assessments. And believe me, we have a decent sense of what is in our interest and know how to protect it and advance it.” “India’s relationship with Russia has developed over decades at a time when the United States was not able to be a partner to India,” he noted.