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India Has Put Era of Pleasing the World Behind It, Says Jaishankar Amid West's Ire Over Ukraine

© Sputnik / Alexander Shcherbak/POOLIndian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar
Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar  - Sputnik International, 1920, 06.05.2022
The West has been consistently persuading New Delhi to alter its position on the Russia-Ukraine conflict, invoking the morality of the country, which is considered the world's largest democracy. However, India has remained consistent in its position, prioritising its national interests on the issue.
While the West is persuading India to join them in the so-called "global response" against Russia, Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar has subtly conveyed that New Delhi was revisiting its foreign policy, leaving behind an era of pleasing the world.
"We have to be confident about who we are. I think it's better to engage with the world on the basis of who we are rather than try and please the world by being a pale imitation of what they are," Jaishankar said on Wednesday at the Raisina Dialogue.
He made these remarks in the presence of officials and ministers of Western countries present at the Raisina Dialogue – an annual event organised by the think tank Observer Research Foundation in collaboration with the Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi.
"The idea that others define us, that you know somewhere we need to get approval from other quarters, I think, that's an era we need to put behind," the minister added.
Sitting beside the top Indian diplomat, Joao Cravinho, the Portuguese foreign minister, conveyed to EU leaders questioning New Delhi's stand over the Ukraine crisis that Europe should impose trust in India's views about the situation, as the Ukrainian crisis has further underscored the need for Europe and India to strengthen their partnership.
"We can strategically trust India. It is a positive development and certainly intended from Russia's perspective," Joao Cravinho said.
Cravinho emphasised that weak Russia will not positively affect the global order. Several foreign ministers of the European Union had questioned New Delhi for not directly criticising Russia over its special military operation in the eastern European nation.
The Indian minister emphasised that New Delhi should be practical about how it leverages the international environment and correct mistakes made in the past by "paying more attention to hard security."
On Tuesday, the Indian foreign minister rebuffed criticism made by some European ministers on New Delhi's stance on the Russia-Ukraine conflict, asking where Europe was when countries in Asia - such as Afghanistan - faced a crisis.
India has urged Russia and Ukraine to cease the violence and return to dialogue and diplomacy to end the crisis. It has abstained from voting on UN resolutions 11 times since the special military operation began in Ukraine.
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