India’s response to the war in Ukraine based on 6 principles. The government explains

Ukraine-Russia War: Foreign Minister S Jaishankar says India is for peace. (Representative)

New Delhi:

The government is reviewing various aspects related to trade, including those related to payments, following the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar told the Rajya Sabha on Thursday even as he claimed that crude oil imported of Russia is very little.

Responding to a follow-up question during Question Time at the Rajya Sabha, Mr Jaishankar said: “Due to the emerging problem in relations with Russia, the government is looking at various aspects including the payment aspect.”

He told the House that there is a group within government made up of different departments led by the Department of Finance to look at these issues.

Regarding the oil trade with Russia, he said: “We import very little (crude) oil for Russia. It is less than 1% of our imports. Many countries even import 20 times more oil than we (from Russia)”.

On various developments in India’s neighborhood following the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, he said, “There are many developments in our neighborhood and we are following them very closely.”

Regarding India’s position on the conflict, he said: “Our position is not that, it is not our problem. Our position is that we are for peace. When the Prime Minister addressed the Presidents (of Russia and Ukraine), the clear intent at that time was the evacuation of students…but there was a broader conversation about what we could do that leads to the cessation of hostilities and the return of dialogue and diplomacy. I think that today this feeling is widely shared by many countries. We have articulated it is very strong”.

He also told the House that India takes note of all international developments including Russia and Ukraine (conflict) and India monitors it from its own national perspective and fashion strategy in line with these developments.

Regarding trade in the context of the Russian-Ukrainian crisis, he said: “Indian foreign policy decisions are made in the Indian national interest and we are guided by our thinking, opinions and interests. There is therefore no question of linking the situation in Ukraine to trade issues”. .

India’s position on Ukraine is based on six principles, the minister told the House.

First, India calls for an immediate cessation of violence and hostilities, he said, adding that India stands for peace.

Secondly, he said, India believes there is no other way but return through dialogue and diplomacy.

The third principle is that India has recognized that the world order is anchored on law, the UN Charter and respect for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of all states, according to Mr. Jaishankar.

The fourth is that India is asking for humanitarian access to a conflict situation, he added.

The fifth is for India to provide humanitarian aid, he said. So far, the country has provided 90 tons of humanitarian aid. India plans to provide more, especially medicine.

Finally, India is in contact with the leaders of Russia and Ukraine, he said, adding that the prime minister himself had spoken with the presidents of both countries.

He also informed the House in his written response that “we have been able to safely repatriate 22,500 Indian citizens, including 147 foreign nationals from 18 countries, from Ukraine since February 2022.”

He said according to available records, India exported $203.68 million worth of pharmaceuticals to Pakistan from April 2021 to December 2021.

Some cases of non-payment of dues to Indian pharmaceutical exporters by Pakistani importers have been brought to our attention. According to available data, the total amount of unpaid duties to Indian exporters is around $430,000, he said.

The issue of unpaid dues was raised with the relevant Pakistani authorities through the Indian High Commission in Islamabad. Pakistani authorities have yet to come back to the issue, he added.

Christi C. Elwood