Monday, December 4, 2023

Russia helped us militarily when US sent arms to neighbouring dictators: Jaishankar

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar slammed America’s hypocrisy over India’s arms deal with Russia amid the former’s aid to Pakistan. 

In the latest development, he emphasised how the Western countries have provided weapons to the ‘Pakistani military and not to India’. 

The critical remarks from the Foreign Minister came during a press conference with his Australian counterpart Penny Wong, in Canberra on Monday. 

EAM Jaishankar highlighted how Western countries have been supplying weapons to Pakistan despite knowing the fact the country has produced numerous terrorists on its soil.

Further, when an Australian reporter asked about India’s arms deal with Russia, he defended New Delhi’s step and asserted the relationship between India and Moscow has served the national interests. 

According to EAM Jaishanakar, India’s relations with Moscow thrived as the West abandoned New Delhi’s core interests by denying its military requirement. 

“We have a long-standing relationship with Russia, and this relationship has served our interests well. We have a substantial inventory of Soviet and Russian-origin weapons,” Jaishankar said adding, “this inventory grew for various reasons including the West not supplying weapons to India for decades and in fact seeing the military dictatorship next to us as a preferred partner.”

Further, in a staunch reply to the US move on arms deals, Jaishankar said India makes judgements which are reflective of future interests and the current situation. 

When asked about India’s position in the Russia-Ukraine war, he reiterated India does not support war and added conflict never satisfies anyone’s interests.

 Later, he recalled how Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during an event in Samarkand, told Russian President Vladimir Putin that “it is not the time to war”.  

“We have been very clearly against the conflict in Ukraine. We believe it does not serve the interest of anybody, the participants, or the international community. As the country of the global south, we have been seeing first-hand how much it has impacted low-income countries. As PM Modi said in Samarkand, this is not an era of war,” the minister said.

It is worth mentioning this was not the first time when Jaishankar gave a befitting reply to Western and European hypocrisy. Earlier, while responding to a question on the procurement of Russian oil amid the Ukraine war, Jaishankar replied politely and said it is his moral duty to ensure the best deal for Indians, most of whom cannot afford high energy prices. 

“We have been very honest about our interests. I have a country with a per capita income of $2,000. These aren’t people who can afford higher energy prices. It is my obligation… my moral duty to ensure that I get them the best deal I can,” he said.

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