Foreign Minister S Jaishankar today opposed criticism of India’s position in Ukraine, saying western powers had been oblivious to the pressing challenges facing Asia including last year’s events in Afghanistan and continued pressure on rule -based order in the region.
In an interactive session at the Raisina Dialogue, Mr Jaishankar said the crisis in Ukraine could be a “wake -up call” for Europe to also see what has happened in Asia, saying it was not an “easy part” of the world over the past 10 years.
To a specific question by Norwegian Foreign Minister Anniken Huitfeldt on the situation in Ukraine, Mr Jaishankar said India had urged an immediate stop to fighting and a return to the path of diplomacy and dialogue.
“I think where the conflict in Ukraine is concerned, we have a very clear stance that has been stated. A position that emphasizes the immediate cessation of hostilities, which calls for a return to diplomacy and dialogue that emphasizes the need to respect sovereignty and territorial integrity,” he said.
“You’re talking about Ukraine. I remember, less than a year ago, what happened in Afghanistan where the whole civil society was thrown down the bus by the world,” he said.
“I’ll say honestly, we all want to find the right balance between our beliefs and interests, our experiences, and that’s what everyone is really trying to do. It looks different from different parts of the world. Priorities are different and that’s quite natural , “he added.
The minister answered several questions from his counterparts from Norway and Luxembourg as well as former Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt on the Ukraine crisis.
“Frankly, we have heard over the last two months a lot of arguments from Europe saying things happening in Europe and Asia should be worried about because this could happen in Asia,” Mr Jaishankar said.
“Things have been happening in Asia for the last 10 years. Europe may not see it. So this could be a wake -up call for Europe, not only in Europe, it could be a wake -up call for Europe also see Asia,” he said.
The foreign minister said it was not a problem and the problem had already occurred in Asia.
“This has not been an easy part of the world over the past decade and this is the part of the world where borders have not been resolved, where violence is still practiced often sponsored by the state,” he said.
“This is a part of the world where rule -based order has been under constant pressure for over a decade and I think it is important for the rest of the world, outside of Asia to recognize it today,” Mr Jaishankar said.
In his question, Bildt asked the foreign minister what conclusions China could draw from what happened in Ukraine and whether there was a possibility Beijing saw the possibility of doing things otherwise would not be allowed.
Also to the Swedish leader’s comments that the conclusion that China can take out of the crisis in Ukraine could have a major possible impact for India’s security, Jaishankar said the question should have been put to Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.
“I can’t answer that question honestly. But I don’t think international relations necessarily work in order of priority. People don’t have to look at something out there and say aha that’s what I’m going to do,” Mr Jaishankar replied.
“That’s mostly the function of the bureaucracy. But I think world affairs has a more self -driven way of working, counting on its own,” he added.
Mr Jaishankar identified the events in Afghanistan, the COVID-19 pandemic, the crisis in Ukraine and superpower competition as “big shocks” the world witnessed and said it had global consequences.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by AGRASMARTCITY staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)