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'Less Than What Europe Buys In An Afternoon': Jaishankar To US On Russian Energy Imports

External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar holds a joint news conference during the fourth US-India 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue at the State Department in Washington, US. (Image: Reuters)

External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar holds a joint news conference during the fourth US-India 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue at the State Department in Washington, US. (Image: Reuters)

US Reiterates India Move Away From Russia, Jaishankar Says Such Advice Should Be Directed Towards Europe

The United States on Monday told India that buying Russian energy is not in its interest as it tried to pit India against Russia using war in Ukraine as a reason. The US tried to get India on its team alongside the western nations and NATO allies and tried to draw a parallel between the Indo-Pacific and Russia’s so-called ‘military operation’ in Ukraine.

Union minister S Jaishankar, however, was quick to remind US media persons present in Washington that the US should extend similar suggestions to its allies in western Europe who are more dependent on Russia than India.

While the US advised India to slowly move away from Russia, the Union minister of external affairs S Jaishankar insisted that the US look closely at its western allies before suggesting India over importing energy resources from Russia. “India’s relationship with Russia has developed over decades but times have changed. Today we are willing to be partners in all spheres. That was the nature of conversation today,” Blinken said. Blinken also said that the US asks its allies to not make energy or purchases of other nature from Russia.

However, Jaishankar in an apparent response to the statement, when questioned by the American media on India’s purchase of crude oil from Russia said that the US should advise the same to its European allies. “If you’re looking at energy purchases from Russia, I’d suggest your attention should be on Europe. We buy some energy necessary for our energy security. But I suspect, looking at figures, our purchases for the month would be less than what Europe does in an afternoon,” Jaishankar said.

Union minister of defence Rajnath Singh, US secretary of state Antony Blinken, Union external affair minister S Jaishankar and US defence secretary Lloyd Austin addressed a joint press conference following the fourth ministerial dialogue between the two countries.

The US reiterated its warning that if Russia is not countered it may encourage other regimes to gather courage and make similar moves, indicating towards China and its aggressive posture in the Himalayas as well as the South China Sea.

However, Jaishankar said that India and the US continue to cooperate across several domains and the impact of the cooperation is global as well as visible. “We can take satisfaction in the strength of the progress that we have made whether it’s our USD 160 billion trade account, our 200,000 students, our highest recorded investment levels, or our rapidly growing energy trade. The yardsticks to measure growing closeness tell their own story,” Jaishankar was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

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