Some statements are always relevant for New India. Recently, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar asked European nations to come out of the mindset that European problems are world’s problems but world’s problems are not Europe’s problems. Speaking at Globesec 22 Bratislava Forum in Slovakia, Jaishankar also slammed the linkages being made between the situation in Ukraine and tension between India and China.
The strong comments by Jaishankar came amid persistent efforts by the European countries to convince India to take a tough position on the Russian invasion of Ukraine with the argument that New Delhi may face a similar challenge from China in the future.Jaishankar’s comments indicated India’s unwillingness to join the US and Europe’s strategy of sanctions against Russia. On being asked where India fits into the picture where there will be two camps of power led by the US and China, Jaishankar disagreed with the idea of India needing to choose an axis to align with.
Jaishankar added that India has one-fifth population of the world and is the fifth or sixth largest global economy. “I think I am entitle to have my own side, I am entitled to weigh my own interest, make my own choices, and my choices will not be cynical and transactional. But they will be a balance of my values and my interest,” the minister said, adding that there is no country in the world which disregards its interests.Asked whether India is sitting on the fence on key global matters, he said: “I don’t think we’re sitting on the fence just because I don’t agree with you.” He said India has been part of addressing all big challenges like climate change, green technology and combating terrorism. He said a lot is happening outside Europe and that the world can’t be as Euro-centric as in the past.