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India not sitting on fence, Europe has to change mindset: Jaishankar

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New Delhi, Jun 03: Amid the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, External affairs minister S Jaishankar defended India's foreign policy, saying that New Delhi is not sitting on the fence, just because its policy may not be agreeable to some other countries.

S Jaishankar

The foreign minister made the statement at GLOBESEC, talking about Taking Friendship to the Next Level: Allies in the Indo-Pacific.

"I am not sitting on the fence just because I don't agree with you. It means I am sitting on my ground," the foreign minister said when asked about New Delhi's stance on the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war and whether India can afford to be sitting on the fence as an emerging world leader.

"Europe has to grow out of the mindset that its problems are world's problems, but world's problems aren't Europe's problems. Today linkages are being made between China and India happening in Ukraine. Come on guys, China and India happened way before Ukraine. It's not a clever argument," said Jaishankar.

"This is the construct you're trying to impose on India. Don't think it's necessary for India to join any axis. India is entitled to make its own choices which will be a balance of its values and interests," said Jaisankar on being asked about the US-led axis and China as another potential axis in the world.

To a question on the Russia-Ukraine war, Jaishankar said "In terms of what is happening with the Ukraine conflict our stand is very clear that we favour an immediate cessation of hostilities. It's not that we have ignored it unless you call phone calls to Putin and Zelensky as ignoring something."

Jaishankar has time and again made it clear that India has been able to maintain its policy of non-alignment in the polarised global scenario by being clear about its own interests and confident of pursuing it.

"The challenge for India to stand by its non-aligned policy is not a new one. Every time the world polarises, it has its own complications and we are at that stage right now. There are multiple reasons for it, Ukraine is one of them," he had said.

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