As Prime Minister Narendra Modi conveyed to Russian President Vladimir Putin this is not an era of war. Global economy is simply too interdependent for significant conflict anywhere not to have major consequences elsewhere
~ Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar
While on his two-day visit to Russia’s Moscow, Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey, with whom he discussed issues regarding the Bilateral trade between the countries as well as the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
In his opening remarks before the meeting, the EAM opined, “Where the international situation is concerned, the last few years of the Covid pandemic, financial pressures, and trade difficulties; have taken a toll on the global economy. We are now seeing the consequences of the Ukraine conflict on top of that. There are also the more perennial issues of terrorism and climate change, both of which have a disruptive impact on progress and prosperity.”
In a joint press conference with Sergey, Jaishankar detailed the meeting between the two, stating, “We have substantial and time-tested relations with Russia. We have been trying to find ways to expand this relationship and make it more durable. We discussed areas where there are natural interests between both countries…India and Russia have grappled with how to expand our bilateral trade.”
“We are naturally concerned about trade imbalance and have raised this with the Russian side regarding how to arrest impediments that stand in the way of Indian exports.”
Naturally, many scrutinised the meeting, deeming it a sign of India’s support to Russia amidst the ongoing crisis. This meeting comes not long after Indian increased its import of discounted crude oil from Russia, despite dismay from the west.
Speaking on the Ukraine conflict, the External Affairs Minister said, “We exchanged views on international issues. Ukraine conflict was dominant feature.”
He then reiterated public comments previously made by PM Modi, remarking, “As Prime Minister Narendra Modi conveyed to Russian President Vladimir Putin this is not an era of war. Global economy is simply too interdependent for significant conflict anywhere not to have major consequences elsewhere.”
Said comments were made by PM Modi back in September at a bilateral meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Samarkhand, Uzbekistan. It is also pertinent to note that in a phone conversation with Ukrainian President Zelenskyy on October 4, PM Modi said that there can be “no military solution” and that India is ready to contribute to any peace efforts.
The EAM also stressed on the state of the Taliba- acquired Afghanistan deeming the issue as “humanitarian.”
“It is important that the world should not forget the situation in Afghanistan because today it’s not getting the attention that it deserves. There is a humanitarian situation. India has provided food, medicines, vaccines and we are trying to find ways to support Afghan people, ” he advised.