India has stressed on cessation of fighting and a return to diplomacy and dialogue, he said

India has a clear position on the conflict in Ukraine, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on Tuesday, reiterating the call for a return to diplomacy and dialogue.

The External Affairs Minister added that it was one of the most dominating issues at present not only because of interests or values concerned but also because of the consequences worldwide.

He was speaking during an interaction at the Raisina Dialogue 2022 which is being held in New Delhi.

Responding to a question on "authoritarian" Russia’s aggression in democratic Ukraine and how India sees its role in defending free societies globally, he said India has a fairly clear position that has been articulated.

“The position which emphasises the urgent cessation of fighting, that urges return to diplomacy and dialogue, which stresses the need to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of states,” Jaishankar further said.

“I do think this is an issue of concern not just for India because the fact is that there are different countries who have evolved combination of values, interests, histories and cultures to approach conflicts and specific situation,” he added.

“You spoke about Ukraine, I remember less than a year ago, what happened in Afghanistan, where an entire civil society was thrown under the bus by the world,” the EAM said.

“We in Asia face our own sets of challenges which often have an impact on the Rules-based order,” he observed.
“Quite honesty, all of us would like to find the right balance of our beliefs, experiences and interests and that is really what we are trying to do,” Jaishankar said.

“It looks different from different parts of the world, the priorities are quite natural, but as I said at the moment these shocks are really for all of us to be concerned about because each of these events in Afghanistan, COVID-19, Ukraine, Big Power rivalry have global consequences and consequences for everyday person,” he maintained.

Stating that he recognized that the conflict in Ukraine was among the dominant issues of the day, the External Affairs Minister said, it was a dominant issue not just in terms of values alone, but also in terms of the practical consequences of it (knock-on effects).

“In parts of the world as also in Africa, Asia people are seeing the conflict play out in higher energy prices, in terms of food inflation, in terms of food inflation, disruptions of various kinds,” he pointed out.

“The truth is that there is nobody who wants to see this conflict,” Jaishankar argued.

“There would be no winners in this conflict. But, I also stress to you that there is a world out there, it would remind you that there are equally pressing issues in other parts of the world, Afghanistan, the challenges that we faced in Asia,” he said.

“And if I were to put these challenges in terms of principles, when rules based order was under challenge in Asia, the advice from Europe we got was to do more trade. At least we are not giving you that advice,” he retorted.

“In terms of Afghanistan, please show me which part of the Rules-based order justified what the world did there,” Jaishankar asked.

“Our position is that we have to find some way of returning to diplomacy and dialogue and to do that the fighting must stop. That is the focus of what we are trying to do,” he stated further.