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India Calls Out West for Criticizing Its Defense, Energy Ties With Russia

© Photo : wtcmoscow.ruHandshake
Handshake - Sputnik India, 1920, 03.01.2023
New Delhi has decided not to follow the example of Western countries in limiting its relations with Russia in response to Moscow's special military operation in Ukraine.
On Tuesday, Indian Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar made a scathing attack on the West for criticizing India's energy and defense ties with Russia amid the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.
The minister defended India's historic ties with Moscow, saying, "It was the relationship built in the period when Western democracies used to arm a military dictatorship called Pakistan and deny India defensive weapons.”
“So we are talking about principles, let's talk a little bit of history out here."
The minister was responding to an Austrian anchor who asked whether India's dependence on Russia for weapons was the reason it failed to criticize Moscow's actions in Ukraine.
When an anchor questioned India's neutrality on the situation of a “big country invading its neighbor,” Jaishankar said the situation is complicated and he could give the West many examples of countries violating the sovereignty of another country.
The minister said, "If I were to ask where Europe stood on a lot of those, I am afraid, I'll get a long silence."
The Indian minister accused Europe of reducing its imports in a way that is comfortable for them while India has a population with a per capita income of only $2,000.
The minister said, "If at 60,000 euros per capita income, you are so caring about your population, I have a population at $2,000... If the European political leadership understandably would like to soften the impact on their population, I think it's a privilege they should extend to other political leaderships as well."
The Indian minister also accused Europe of putting pressure on energy prices by diverting Middle East oil for their own consumption.
Since February 2022, Europe has imported six times more fossil fuel energy from Russia than India has.
India's trade ties with Russia have received a significant boost since last February, as they are on track to reach a bilateral trade volume of $30 billion, two years ahead of their scheduled target.