Dr Jaishankar has repeatedly defended India's decision to continue importing oil from Russia
When the Ukraine conflict polarised the West and hit global fuel supply chains, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had told External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar to "do whatever is needed for the benefit of the country".
Dr Jaishankar shared this in an exclusive interview with NDTV.
"We must build relations with the world. But when it comes to what benefits us, we should not back down. I should not expose our people to fuel inflation if I can find a way. The Prime Minister had said, 'take a stand that benefits India'. We did that," the minister said.
Dr Jaishankar has repeatedly defended India's decision to continue importing oil from Russia despite the Western sanctions in the wake of the Ukraine conflict.
He had asked how Europe could prioritise its energy needs and expect India to act differently.
He had pointed out that in the wake of the Ukraine conflict, Europe had turned to traditional suppliers in the Middle East for their fuel needs and this, in turn, put pressure on prices.
Every country, he had said, was trying to get the best possible deal for its citizens and to cushion the impact of high energy prices, and India was no different.
In a sharp remark that had gone viral, the External Affairs Minister had said how Europe needs to grow out of the mindset that Europe's problems are the world's problems, but the world's problems are not Europe's problems.