‘We stand for peace’, Jaishankar briefs RS on Ukraine war

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External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar on Thursday told the Rajya Sabha that India’s stand on the Russia-Ukraine war is based on six principles.

Responding to a question, he said that India has called for immediate cessation of violence and end to all hostilities. “We stand for peace, we believe that there is no other way than a return to the path of dialogue and diplomacy. We recognize that the global order is anchored on international law, UN charter and respect for territorial integrity and sovereignty of all states and we call for humanitarian access to a conflict situation.”

He also said, “We have given 90 tonnes of humanitarian assistance so far and we are looking to providing more, especially medicines.”

Jaishankar also said that the Government of India is in touch with the leadership of both the Russian Federation and Ukraine on this matter. “The Prime Minister himself has spoken with the Presidents of both the countries. This was also mentioned in a statement made before the House recently,” he added.

Responding to a question by MP Naresh Gujral on Indian trade with Russia especially payment in rupees, Jaishankar said that because of the emerging problems with Russia, the government is examining various aspects by the group composed of various Ministries under the aegis of the Finance Ministry to examine the issue of payment.

Replying to the query of Gujral on crude oil import, he said, “we import less than one per cent of crude oil from Russia. Many western countries are importing 15 to 20 times more than what we import.”

Replying another question on the development in our neighbourhood, the Minister also said that the government is very clear on principles, “We believe that international order must respect the territorial integrity of States and it is our foremost attention in our neighbourhood.”

To a follow-up question about the growing relations between Russia and China, Jaishankar said, the government is aware of the changes in international relations. “We monitor it, we obviously assess it from our own national perspective and fashion our strategy in accordance with those developments,” he said.

Jaishankar also informed the House that when Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Vladimir Putin thrice and to Volodymyr Zelensky twice, the evacuations of Indians was the priority, but the major part of the conversations was on what we could do to encourage a cessation of hostility through the dialogue and diplomacy.

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