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‘Supplied arms to Pakistan, not…’: S Jaishankar’s curt reply to West on Russia

Reaffirming India’s defence and trade cooperation with Russia, external affairs minister S Jaishankar said the West has ‘preferred’ Pakistan over India when it comes to supplying arms.

External affairs minister S Jaishankar (File Photo)

“Many Western countries have long preferred to supply Pakistan and not India. But that trend has changed in the past 10 or 15 years with the USA, for example, and our new purchases have diversified with the USA, Russia, France, and Israel, as the main suppliers,” he said.

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Jaishankar, who is Germany’s Munich for the Munich Security Conference, was speaking to Handelsblatt, a leading German economic daily.

The foreign minister also noted how Europe must understand that India’s view on Russia, will not be identical to what Europe thinks of Moscow.

“My point is, just as I do not expect Europe to have a view of China that is identical to mine, Europe should understand that I cannot have a view of Russia that is identical to the European one. Let us accept that there are natural differences in relationships,” he remarked.

Jaishankar’s statement on India-Russia ties comes at a time when the Russia-Ukraine war is about to complete two years (February 24). While West has imposed sanctions against Moscow, New Delhi has come under criticism for continuing to buy oil, and has repeatedly abstained from voting on resolutions against Russia in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).

The recent death in jail of Russian dissident Alexei Navalny has also spared fresh condemnations of Vladimir Putin within the Western bloc.

(With ANI inputs)

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