New Delhi: Defending India's stance on importing crude oil from Russia, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Tuesday said that it's a sensible policy to go where we get the best deal in the interest of the Indian citizens.
The minister expressed "concern" over "stability and affordability of energy markets" due to energy caps on Russian energy imposed by the West.
"We don't ask our companies to buy Russian oil, we ask them to buy what's the best option they get. It depends on the market, it's a sensible policy to go where we get the best deal in the interest of the Indian people," Jaishankar said while addressing the Rajya Sabha on the first day of the winter session of Parliament.
The war in Ukraine which started in February has had a significant impact on global food security and has led to a sudden increase in crude prices following western sanctions on Moscow.
During his assessment of global oil prices, Jaishankar has been saying that oil and gas prices are unreasonably high throughout the world.
According to him, Europe was buying more oil from the Middle East countries which were Asia's traditional suppliers, however, now it was diverted to Europe.
Earlier in November, during a joint press conference along with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Moscow Jaishankar said that India's relationship with Russia has worked to its advantage and New Delhi would like to keep that going. He reaffirmed strong ties with Moscow, describing the country as a steady and time-tested partner.
Delivering his remarks in the Parliament on the 'Latest Developments in India's Foreign Policy', Jaishankar also raised the issue of the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine and stated that Indian citizens should not pay for some other country's action.
"Indian public should not pay for some other country's action," Jaishankar said, asserting India's position.
New Delhi has not condemned Russia since the start of the conflict and has maintained its independent position. However, on several UN forums, New Delhi has consistently called for a cessation of violence and advocated peace and diplomacy.
He had also said that the US knows India's position on Russian oil import and has "moved on", adding that in such circumstances "India is open about its interests, wants the best deal." This is not the first time, Jaishankar defended India's interest on a global scale, earlier at the GLOBSEC 2022 Bratislava Forum held in Slovakia in June this year, he hit back at the unfair criticism against Indian oil purchase from Russia.
Moreover, the situation in Palestine was also brought to the fore by the External Affairs Minister as he underlined India's support for a two-state solution with both states living side by side peacefully. He also highlighted how New Delhi's financial support to Palestine has surged.
"We're very clear on Palestine, we support a two-state solution with both states living peacefully side by side. Our financial support for the Palestinian refugee welfare agency has gone up," Jaishankar added.
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