Indian position on Ukraine conflict based on 6 principles: S Jaishankar
Ukraine Russia crisis: Jaishankar said India’s foreign policy decisions on matters such as Ukraine conflict are made in line with national interests and the country is “guided by our thinking, our views, our interests”
NEW DELHI: India’s position on the Ukraine crisis is based on six principles, including an immediate end to violence, a return to the path of dialogue and diplomacy and respect for the territorial integrity of all states, external affairs minister S Jaishankar said on Thursday.
Responding to questions on the situation in Ukraine in the Rajya Sabha, Jaishankar said India’s foreign policy decisions in such matters are made in line with national interests and the country is “guided by our thinking, our views, our interests”.
Referring to the six principles on which India’s position on the situation in Ukraine is based, he listed them to include an “immediate cessation of violence and end to hostilities”, “a return to the path of dialogue and diplomacy” and the global order being anchored on international law, the UN Charter and respect for territorial integrity and sovereignty of all states.
Jaishankar said these principles further included the call for humanitarian access in a complex situation, and being in touch with the leadership of both Russia and Ukraine. In this context, he said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has spoken to Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. He noted that India has provided 90 tonnes of humanitarian assistance to Ukraine.
“Our position is not that this is not our problem, our position is that we are for peace,” he said, adding Modi had spoken to Putin three times and twice to Zelenskyy. These discussions had looked at what India “could do to encourage a cessation of hostilities and return to diplomacy and dialogue”, he said.
India has so far refrained from publicly criticising Russia’s actions or condemning the invasion of Ukraine despite growing pressure from the US and its Western allies. India has also abstained on all Ukraine-related votes at the United Nations Security Council and General Assembly – a position attributed to its long-standing defence and strategic ties with Russia.
Responding to a question about growing relations between Russia and China, including in the military sphere, Jaishankar said the government is aware of changes in international relations involving these two and other countries. These changes are assessed from a national perspective and India’s strategy is fashioned in accordance with these developments, he said.
Referring to “emerging problems in dealing with Russia” because of sanctions imposed by Western powers, he said the government is examining various aspects of the matter, including the issue of payments to Russia. A group of various ministries, led by the finance ministry, is examining these matters, he added.
Jaishankar also said in a statement that India’s position on the Ukraine conflict had been “steadfast and consistent” and the country has expressed deep concern at the worsening situation and called for an immediate cessation of violence. “As conveyed in our statements at the [UN] Security Council and the General Assembly, we have urged an urgent ceasefire and ensuring safe passage for stranded civilians.”
In his phone calls with Zelenskyy, Modi noted that “India has always stood for peaceful resolution of issues and direct dialogue between the two parties”, according to the statement.
Jaishankar further said that Modi had welcomed ongoing negotiations between Russia and Ukraine during his conversation with Putin, and expressed the hope that the talks will lead to the end of the conflict. “He suggested that a direct conversation between President Putin and President Zelenskyy may greatly assist the ongoing peace efforts,” Jaishankar added.