Amid criticism from some quarters for buying oil from Russia amid the Ukraine-Russia war, External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar asserted that India’s purchase policies played a key role in stabilising the global oil and gas markets, thereby helping manage global inflation.
In an interview in London, Jaishankar said: “So we’ve actually softened the oil markets and the gas markets through our purchase policies. We have, as a consequence, actually managed global inflation…I’m waiting for the thank you,” Jaishankar said.
The minister emphasised upon India’s strategic approach to oil purchases that worked as a crucial factor in preventing a potential spike in global oil prices.
“When it comes to the purchase…I think the global oil prices would have gone higher because we would have gone into the same market to the same suppliers that Europe would have done and as we discovered Europe would have outpriced us,” he explained.
“At least India was a big enough country to command some respect in the markets. But there were much smaller countries that didn’t even get responses to their tender inquiries because the LNG suppliers were no longer interested in dealing with them. They had bigger fish to fry. So we’ve actually softened the oil markets and the gas markets through our purchase policies. We have, as a consequence, actually managed global inflation…I’m waiting for the thank you,” Jaishankar said.
Meanwhile, responding to a question on Canada’s allegation of India’s involvement in the killing of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar, Jaishankar said India was not ruling out a probe in the case but asked Canada to share evidence to back its claims.
“Look, if you have a reason to make such an allegation, please share the evidence with us. We are not ruling out an investigation and looking at anything which they may have to offer. They haven’t done so,” Jaishankar said.
He said India feels that “Canadian politics has given space to violent and extreme political opinions which advocate separatism from India, including through violent means”.
“These people have been accommodated in Canadian politics. They are given the freedom to articulate their views…Freedom of speech and freedom of expression also comes with a certain responsibility. The misuse of those freedoms and the toleration of that misuse for political purposes would be very wrong…”
“We’ve had attacks on the High Commission, smoke bombs thrown at the High Commission. My Consul general and other diplomats were intimidated in public, on record, with no action taken by those who did know. This is a country where there is a previous history,” he added.