S Jaishankar lashed out on Liz Truss as she raised the matter of India buying oil from Russia, she had to step back

New Delhi: Talking about sanctions against Russia is like a propaganda … Indian External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar said this before the then British Foreign Minister Liz Truss. The same Liz Truss is now going to be the Prime Minister of Britain. She visited India in March-April. Russia’s aggression against Ukraine has sent shockwaves across the world and the appointed leaders of various countries have visited India. It was a period when America and the West were expected to support India in its actions against Russia, but India continued with its sovereign policy. It is in this environment that Lis Truss arrived in India on March 31, 2022. She was Britain’s foreign minister at the time.

He Foreign Minister S. In the conversation with Jaishankar, the matter of buying oil from Russia came up. What was Jayashankar came to his own rhythm. Aaw dekha na tav, he bluntly asserted that such a campaign was not going to bring any change in India. As other countries prioritize their own interests, India will take any decision in the mirror of its historical relationship with Russia.

When Jaishankar Truss was staggered
In fact, Lis Truss wanted India to help the West in making the sanctions against Russia effective. To this Jaishankar bluntly said, ‘Talking about sanctions against Russia when Europe is buying more oil from Russia than before the war seems like propaganda’. Truss would certainly not have expected Jayashankar to respond in this tone. But Truss immediately backtracked in Jaishankar’s naive style and started saying that India was a sovereign country and he would not say what he wanted to do.

However, the truth is that they were talking in such a way that India did not buy oil from Russia while all the European countries including Britain were increasing their purchases of Russian oil. When Jaya Shankar boldly exposes this dual character, Truss has no choice. These discussions between the two foreign ministers took place at the India-UK Strategic Future Forum. It was organized by the Indian Council of World Affairs and Policy Exchange.

Because of Jayashankar’s reply, Liz Truss went backwards
The audience also asked questions during this conversation. When asked what he had to say to India about buying oil from Russia, Truss said, ‘I have given the UK’s position on sanctions. We will end our dependence on Russia for oil by the end of this year. As far as India is concerned, it is a sovereign country. I will not tell India what to do. I said what I said as a minister in the UK government. The UK signed the Budapest Agreement. I think the UK should do whatever it takes to support the people of Ukraine. But that doesn’t mean I should tell other countries what to do.

Jaishankar stopped talking about figures
Then when it was Jayashankar’s turn, he scolded the West. Giving figures, he said 7.5 to 8 per cent of India’s oil imports are from the US, while less than one per cent comes from Russia. Turning to Europe, Europe bought 15 percent more oil from Russia in March than it did in February, when the Ukraine war began. “You will find that most of the buyers of Russia’s oil and gas are in Europe, and India buys most of its energy from the Middle East,” he said. He went on to say, ‘Oil is expensive, so every country wants to buy cheap oil from somewhere. After waiting two-three months to see who the oil and gas buyers are in Russia, I suspect the list will not be the same. I also doubt we’ll even be in the top 10 on that list.

The attack was in reference to Afghanistan
Referring to Afghanistan, Jaishankar also exposed the selfish attitude of America and Europe. He said that US troops have been withdrawn from Afghanistan. Did he think about how India would be affected by doing so? The Indian Foreign Minister also said that the establishment of Taliban rule in Afghanistan will not affect Europe as it affects India. He said the type of decision you make depends on a lot of things, like how close you are to Afghanistan or Ukraine. How are you related to them, what kind of dependence do you have on them etc. He said the arrival of Taliban in Afghanistan would make a difference in Europe but India would have to suffer a lot. Jayashankar said that there has never been such a response from the world in any single incident.

Truss is in favor of strengthening India-UK ties
It is important to note that after winning the election, Liz Truss emphasized further strengthening India-UK ties. He is one of the senior British politicians known for strengthening India-UK strategic and economic ties. Truss signed the Comprehensive Trade Partnership (ETP) when he was international trade minister in May 2021 for the Boris Johnson-led government. This ETP has now become the starting point for ongoing negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA). Truss, 47, also held digital talks with India’s Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal, during which he described the country as a “huge, major opportunity”.

India-UK Free Trade Agreement laid foundation
After signing the ETP, Truss said, “I see the UK and India as well-positioned in an evolving trading environment.” “We are looking for a comprehensive trade agreement that covers everything from financial services to legal services, as well as digital, data, commodities and agriculture,” he said. We think there is a strong possibility of an agreement coming soon that could reduce tariffs on both sides and see more imports and exports of goods between the two countries. Truss is the MP for South West Norfolk. Born in Oxford, Truss’ father was a professor and mother a nurse teacher. The truss was located in various parts of the UK including Scotland, Leeds and London. Truss is married to accountant Hugh O’Leary and they have two daughters.

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