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Jaishankar: Europe, China Views Differ, Parallel to India-Russia Ties

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, in an interview with a German daily during the Munich Security Conference, emphasized that India does not anticipate Europe to share New Delhi’s perspective on China, just as India does not align with Europe’s viewpoint on Russia. The minister, who briefly met with Chinese counterpart Wang Yi at the conference, acknowledged the ongoing strain in India-China relations since the 2020 border clash along the Line of Actual Control.

When questioned about Europe’s support during the 2020 border conflict, Jaishankar clarified that he doesn’t expect Europe to mirror India’s stance on China, recognizing inherent differences in international relationships. In the interview, he criticized the current global economic model as “unstable and unfair,” pointing out an “over-concentration” of production in a limited number of countries.

Addressing India’s energy imports from Russia, Jaishankar defended the decision, stating it played a crucial role in stabilizing global oil markets. He explained that India, as the third-largest global oil consumer, faced challenges when Europe shifted its energy procurement to the Middle East during the conflict in Ukraine, prompting India’s reliance on Russian oil imports.

Despite Western sanctions on Moscow affecting India’s crude imports from Russia, Jaishankar affirmed that Russia has not harmed India’s interests, while acknowledging the fluctuating nature of India’s relations with Europe, the US, China, and Japan. He highlighted the complexity of India’s political and military relationship with China, contrasting it with the relatively stable ties with Russia.

‘Countries blocking UNSC reform are in denial’

As India actively pursues a permanent seat in the UN Security Council, External Affairs Minister Jaishankar criticized countries impeding the council’s expansion and reform. He pointed out that while the UN has grown from 50 to nearly 200 members, its management has not adapted. Jaishankar argued that the nations resisting reform are in denial about the changes in recent decades and emphasized the need to refresh, renovate, and reform the international order and its institutions.

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Currently, the UN Security Council has five permanent members: China, France, Russia, the UK, and the US. Jaishankar highlighted the necessity of addressing the composition and functioning of the Security Council to better reflect the contemporary global landscape.

Discussing India’s evolving military cooperation with other countries, Jaishankar noted a shift in Germany’s traditionally cautious stance towards India on security and defense matters. He acknowledged that many Western countries, including the US, have historically favored supplying military equipment to Pakistan rather than India. However, he observed a positive change in Germany’s attitude in recent years, signaling a growing willingness to engage in security and defense cooperation with India. Jaishankar also highlighted longstanding robust cooperation with France and, to a lesser extent, with Spain and Italy in these areas.

John Collins
John Collins
John is an esteemed journalist and author renowned for their incisive reporting and deep insights into global affairs. As a prominent contributor to City Telegraph, John brings over 5 years of experience covering diverse geopolitical landscapes, from the corridors of power in major capitals to the frontlines of conflict zones.

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