S Jaishankar, India’s external affairs minister, responded to criticism of India’s stance on Ukraine on Tuesday, saying that Western powers have been blind to Asia’s pressing issues, notably last year’s events in Afghanistan and ongoing strain on the region’s rules-based order.
In an interactive session at the Raisina Dialogue, Jaishankar said the Ukraine issue might serve as a “wake-up call” for Europe to take a closer look at what’s going on in Asia, noting that it hasn’t been a “easy area” of the world for the past decade.
In response to a particular question about the situation in Ukraine from Norway’s Foreign Minister Anniken Huitfeldt, Jaishankar said India has been urging for an immediate end to the bloodshed and a return to the road of peace.
In response to a particular question about the situation in Ukraine from Norway’s Foreign Minister Anniken Huitfeldt, Jaishankar said India has been calling for an immediate end to the bloodshed and a return to diplomacy and engagement.
“When it comes to the war in Ukraine, I believe we have established a very clear position. A perspective that emphasises the urgent need to stop violence, calls for a return to diplomacy and negotiation, and emphasises the importance of preserving states’ sovereignty and territorial integrity “he stated
“Ukraine was mentioned. I recall, less than a year ago, what happened in Afghanistan, where the world threw an entire civil society under the bus “he stated.
“To be honest, I believe that we all want to find the proper balance between our ideas and interests, as well as our experiences, and that is exactly what we all strive for. It appears differently in different places of the globe. Priorities differ, which is understandable “he continued.
The minister was responding to a series of questions on the Ukraine issue from his Norwegian and Luxembourg counterparts, as well as former Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt.
“To be honest, we’ve been hearing a lot of comments from Europe for the last two months, saying that things are occurring in Europe and Asia should be concerned because this could happen in Asia,” Jaishankar said.
“For the past ten years, things have been happening in Asia. It’s possible that Europe didn’t see it. As a result, this might be a wake-up call for Europe, not just in Europe, but also for Europe to look at Asia “he stated
The minister of foreign affairs stated that difficulties are unlikely to occur, but that they had already occurred in Asia.
“This has not been an easy area of the world for the last decade, and this is a part of the world where boundaries have not been settled, where terrorism is still practised, frequently with state sponsorship,” he said.
“This is a part of the globe where the rules-based system has been under constant strain for more than a decade, and I believe it is critical for the rest of the world, particularly outside Asia, to recognise that today,” Jaishankar said.
In his query, Bildt asked the foreign affairs minister what conclusion China could draw from the events in Ukraine, and whether Beijing might see an opportunity to do things that would normally be prohibited.
In response to the Swedish prime minister’s remark that China’s conclusion from the Ukraine crisis could have enormous ramifications for India’s security, Jaishankar said the queries should have been directed to Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi.
“That’s a question I can’t honestly answer. However, I do not believe that international relations are always governed by a hierarchy of importance. People don’t need to observe something and think to themselves, “Aha, that’s what I’ll do.” “Jaishankar answered with a positive response.
“That is how most bureaucracies work. However, I believe that world affairs operates in a lot more self-driven, self-calculating manner “Added he. Events in Afghanistan, the COVID-19 epidemic, the Ukraine crisis, and large power rivalry, according to Jaishankar, are “huge shocks” that the world is witnessing and have global ramifications.