He highlighted how India pressed Moscow on the safety of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant

India is willing to do whatever it can to facilitate a solution to the Ukraine crisis, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on Thursday.

In this context, he highlighted how India pressed Moscow on the safety of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine when the two countries stepped up fighting near the highly sensitive facility.

Explaining India's role during a conversation with Simon Bridges, Chief Executive, Auckland Business Centre, New Zealand, he also referred to how India had "weighed in" on Russia during the United Nations-led initiative to get foodgrain out through the Black Sea.

When it comes to Ukraine, it is natural that different countries and different regions would react a little differently, EAM Jaishankar pointed out. "People will view it from their viewpoint, their immediate interest, historical experiences, their insecurities, he added.

"To me, the diversities of the world which are quite evident will also naturally lead to a differential response and I would not disrespect the position of other countries as I can see that many of them are coming from their threat perception, their anxiety, their equities in Ukraine," he explained.

According to EAM Jaishankar, in this situation it was important to see what India can do, "which obviously would be in the Indian interest, but also in the best interest of the world."

When asked about the presence of a binary vision in the world and India's place within it, EAM Jaishankar said that he thought the binary view was "outdated".

"One of the changes we have seen in the last few years is the US itself much more open to working with countries outside the traditional alliance or treaty or relationship. So, you have mechanisms like the Quad, which involves some traditional alliance for the US but also a country like India, which has historically stayed away from alliances and treaties," he pointed out.

During the conversation, EAM Jaishankar also spoke about the Covid-19 pandemic and stated that India has aided others even while immunising its own citizens.

"During COVID, we were one of the biggest manufacturers of vaccines. We still are. And even while we were vaccinating our own people, we took a very conscious decision to help others and we prioritised countries that don’t have access to the free vaccines."

On bilateral relations between the two countries, he said India wants to work objectively, creatively and even more positively with New Zealand and the region. The possibilities of greater collaboration are exciting, he noted.

During the day, EAM Jaishankar, who is on his first visit to the country, had a bilateral meeting with Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta and raised the visa difficulties experienced by Indian students as a result of the nation's Covid-19 restrictions.

He also called on Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and said that India was keen on deepening bilateral cooperation with New Zealand.