Bratislava (Slovakia), June 3: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has hit back at the unfair criticism of Indian oil purchases from Russia amid the Ukraine conflict that has created a knock-off effect on the global economy.
While defending India's oil imports from Russia, the union minister highlighted the importance of understanding how the Ukraine war is impacting the developing countries. Jaishankar further questioned why only India was being questioned while Europe continues to procure gas from Russia amid the Ukraine war.
Responding to a question on whether India's oil imports from Russia are not funding the ongoing Ukraine war, the Indian Minister said, "Look I don't want to sound argumentative. If India funding Russia oil is funding the war... Tell me then buying Russian gas is not funding the war? It's only Indian money and Russian oil coming to India funding the war and not Russia's gas coming to Europe not funding? Let's be a little even-handed."
Jaishankar statement's come as he spoke at the GLOBSEC 2022 Bratislava Forum being held in Slovakia on the topic 'Taking Friendship to the Next Level: Allies in the Indo-Pacific Region'.
Speaking further on importing of Russian oil by India, he stated that the packages of sanctions imposed by the European Union are imposed keeping in mind the interest of certain European nations.
"Europe is buying oil, Europe is buying gas...new package of sanctions, it is designed in a way that consideration has been given to the welfare of the population, pipeline has carveouts... if you can be considerate to yourself, you can be considerate to other people. If a Europe says, if we have to manage it in a way impact on the economy is not traumatic, that freedom should exist for other people as well," he added.
Jaishankar also discussed how the rise in Indian oil purchases is being underlined without taking into account the low base of previous imports.
"Look at the whole narrative, it has gone up nine times, it has gone up from a very low base...if countries from the West, Europe, US are so concerned why do they not allow Iranian oil to come to the market, why do they not allow Venezuelan oil to come to the market," the EAM said.