The government is investigating several trade-related aspects, including those related to payments, in the wake of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, Foreign Minister S Jaishankar told the Rajya Sabha on Thursday, even while claiming that the ru- oil imported from Russia very little.
Responding to a supplementary paper during Question Time in the Rajya Sabha, Mr Jaishankar said: “Due to the emerging problem in dealing with Russia, the government is investigating several aspects, including the payment aspect.”
He told the House there is a group within the government made up of different ministries led by the Ministry of Finance to investigate these matters.
Regarding oil trade with Russia, he said: “We import very little (crude) oil for Russia. It is less than one percent of our imports. Many countries import even 20 times more oil than we do (from Russia). “.
Regarding the various developments in the environment of India, following the Russia-Ukraine conflict, he said: “There are many developments in our environment and we are monitoring them very closely”.
On India’s position on the conflict, he stated: “Our position is not this, this is not our problem. Our position is that we are for peace. When the Prime Minister spoke to presidents (of Russia and Ukraine) , the intention of course at that time was the evacuation of students … but there was a bigger conversation about what we could do that would lead to an end to hostilities and a return of dialogue and diplomacy.I think today that sentiment is widespread by many “We have expressed it very strongly.”
He also told the House that India takes note of all international developments, including Russia-Ukraine (conflict), and India monitors it in its own national perspective and fashion strategy in line with those developments.
On trade amid the Russia-Ukraine crisis, he said: “Indian foreign policy decisions are taken in Indian national interest and we are guided by our thoughts, views and interests. So, there is no question about the Ukraine situation to trade issues. ” .
India’s position on Ukraine is based on six principles, the minister told the House.
First, India calls for an immediate cessation of violence and hostility, he said, adding that India stands for peace.
Second, he said, India believes there is no other way but to return through the path of dialogue and diplomacy.
The third principle is that India has recognized that world order is anchored in legislation, UN charter and respect for territorial integrity and sovereignty of all states, according to Mr Jaishankar.
The fourth is that India is asking for humanitarian access to a conflict situation, he added.
The fifth is that India provides humanitarian aid, he said. The country has so far provided 90 tons of humanitarian aid. India is looking at providing more, especially medicine.
Finally, India is in contact with the leadership of both Russia and Ukraine, he said, adding that the prime minister himself has spoken to the presidents of both countries.
He also informed the House in his written reply that “we have been able to bring home 22,500 Indian citizens, including 147 foreign nationals belonging to 18 countries, safely from Ukraine since February 2022”.
He said that according to available records, India exported $ 203.68 million worth of pharmaceutical products to Pakistan from April 2021 to December 2021.
Some cases of non-payment of membership fees to Indian exporters of pharmaceutical products by Pakistani importers have been brought to our attention. According to the available data, the total amount of unpaid fees to Indian exporters is about $ 4.30,000, he said.
The issue of unpaid fees was raised by the High Commissioner of India in Islamabad with the relevant authorities in Pakistan. Pakistani authorities have yet to return on the issue, he added.