On Russia-Ukraine war, UK foreign secy Elizabeth Truss says India need not be told what to do

  • Speaking at an event, jointly addressed by external affairs minister S Jaishankar, Truss said "We are living in a more insecure world, precisely because we have (Vladimir) Putin's appalling invasion of Ukraine."
External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar with UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, during their meeting in New Delhi. (PTI)
External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar with UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, during their meeting in New Delhi. (PTI)
Updated on Mar 31, 2022 10:51 PM IST
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Written by Shivani Kumar | Edited by Sohini Goswami

Strengthening ties with India is more important than ever before given the current global situation in the wake of Russia’s war on Ukraine, Britain's foreign secretary Elizabeth Truss said on Thursday.

Speaking at an event, jointly addressed by external affairs minister S Jaishankar, Truss said, "We are living in a more insecure world, precisely because we have (Vladimir) Putin's appalling invasion of Ukraine."

The "Ukraine crisis highlights the need for like-minded nations to work together," she said, adding, "Implications of the Ukraine crisis are far-reaching. We are seeing global food security threatened, global energy security threatened."

During the conversation, she was also asked to comment on India buying Russian oil at a very steep discount, at a time when the West is seeking to isolate Moscow. Truss said, "India is a sovereign nation, I am not gonna tell India what to do."

Jaishankar said, "When oil prices go up, it's natural for countries to look for good deals for their people." He further spoke about how Europe has been buying oil and gas from Russia despite the crisis. "Europe bought 15 per cent more oil and gas from Russia than it did a month before. Most of the major buyers of oil and gas from Russia are in Europe," said Jaishankar.

"We get the bulk of our energy supplies from the Middle East, about 7.5%-8% from the US, maybe less than a per cent from Russia," he said.

Russia sent its troops to its pro-West neighbour on February 24 and has been carrying out an aggressive offensive in and around its key cities since then.

Putin has said that he is seeking to "denazify" Ukraine which has been influenced by the Western nations, creating a security threat to Russian territory.

While in an attempt to de-escalate the crisis, Ukraine has dropped its aspirations to join NATO, something Russia has been seeking for a long time. However, despite multiple rounds of talks in the more than six weeks of the invasion, fighting has been raging in Ukraine and the Russian troops are inching toward the capital city of Kyiv.

A close partner of Russia for decades, India has maintained a neutral stand so far and refrainsed from condemning the invasion on a public platform. India also abstained from UN resolutions censuring Russia and continues to buy Russian oil and other goods, despite pressure from the west.

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