When MEA Jaishankar Tutored Liz Truss, Now The UK PM, Over Buying Russian Oil. Watch Video

When MEA Jaishankar Tutored Liz Truss, Now The UK PM, Over Buying Russian Oil. Watch Video

New Delhi: As Conservative Party leader Liz Truss was appointed by Queen Elizabeth II as the new Prime Minister of the United Kingdom on Tuesday, netizens recalled her recent visit to India during which she held bilateral talks with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar. During the visit, there was a sharp exchange between Jaishankar and Truss over the issue of sanctions on Russia amid the Ukraine invasion.

Liz secured 81,326 votes to Rishi Sunak’s 60,399 during the Conservative Party’s leadership poll.

In the first week of April this year, the then Foreign Minister of Britain visited India. The two leaders were speaking at the ‘India-UK Strategic Futures Forum’ organized by the ‘Indian Council of World Affairs and Policy Exchange. After this conference, a bilateral meeting was also held between the two leaders. 

Responding to questions on India buying oil from Russia at discounted rates, Truss said: “I have outlined the UK’s approach to sanctions and the fact that we are ending our dependence on Russian oil by the end of this year… I think it is very important that we respect other countries’ decisions about the issues they face.”

“India is a sovereign nation. I am not going to tell India what to do. What I have said is as a member of the UK Government that has signed up to the Budapest Memorandum. I feel a strong responsibility on behalf of the United Kingdom to take all the action we can, to support the people of Ukraine but that is not the same as going around telling other countries what to do,” Truss added.

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The External Affairs Minister further said, “When oil prices go up, I think it’s natural for countries to go out into the market and look for what are good deals for them. But I am pretty sure if we wait two or three months and actually look at who are the big buyers of Russian gas and oil, I suspect the list won’t be very different from what it used to be. And I suspect we won’t be at the top 10 of that list.”

Talking about how China will behave seeing Russian aggression, Truss said, “I have spoken to my Chinese counterpart Wang Yi. China is clear that it respects Ukraine’s sovereignty, and that is an important principle that as a member of the P-5 and a responsible nation, China needs to stick to. And therefore we shouldn’t see China supporting Russia’s actions in Ukraine.”

Jaishankar also said that the US withdrew its forces from Afghanistan. Did it think while doing so, what would be the effect on India? The Indian Foreign Minister said that Europe will not be affected as much as India will be affected by the establishment of Taliban rule in Afghanistan. 

“I would say some of it also depends on proximity. Some of it depends on how strongly a particular country or society relates to what is happening. And again, the example I would use is Afghanistan… I think what we saw happening in Afghanistan last summer had a very, very strong impact here, certainly in India. I probably would say it didn’t have the same impact in Europe. I think people didn’t necessarily relate, to the coming of the Taliban the same way. They didn’t identify with the people who are affected in the same way. So you know, the truth is that many of us have similar or shared beliefs, and values, but there is the ability to relate, the ability to identify, some of it is proximity… the intensity of the reaction may not be the same all over the world,” Jaishankar said.

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(With Agencies Inputs)