India is ready to do everything it can to facilitate a solution to the crisis in Ukraine: EAM Jaishankar

Auckland: India is ready to do everything it can to facilitate a solution to the crisis in Ukraine, Foreign Minister S Jaishankar said on Thursday, highlighting how India pressured Moscow to ensure the safety of the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant. Ukraine when the two countries acted. fighting near the highly sensitive facility.

Jaishankar, who is here on his first visit to New Zealand as Foreign Secretary, said during a lengthy interaction with Auckland Business Chamber CEO Simon Bridges that when it comes to Ukraine it is normal for different countries and different regions react a little differently.

People will look at it from their point of view, their direct interest, historical experiences, their insecurities, he said.

“For me, the diversity of the world, which is quite obvious, will of course also lead to a differentiated response and I would not disdain the position of other countries, as I can see that many of them stem from their perception of threat, their fear , their shares in Ukraine,” he said.

In this situation, Jaishnakar said he would see what India can do, “which would obviously be in the interest of India, but also in the interest of the world.”

“When I was in the United Nations, the biggest concern at the time was the safety of the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant, because there was fighting going on near it.”

“There was a request for us to pressure the Russians on that issue, which we have done. There have been other concerns at different times, or different countries have discussed with us or the UN has contacted us. I think that at this point whatever we can do, we will be willing to do,” said Jaishankar.

The Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant in southeastern Ukraine is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe.

“If we take a position and give our opinion, I don’t think countries would ignore that. And that we were visible in a meeting between my Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) and President (Vladimir) Putin,” he said, referring to the meeting between the two top leaders in Asthana on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) on September 16.

He also spoke of India’s aspiration to become a permanent member of the UN Security Council and said that major problems of our time cannot be solved by one, two or even five countries.

“And when we look at the reforms, we have an interest in becoming a permanent member of the Security Council. That is also because we think in different ways and express the interests and aspirations of a wide range of countries,” he said.

He spoke about climate change and the Covid pandemic to highlight discriminatory policies.

“When you travel today, especially to South Africa, there is a very strong sense of anger at how they have been treated during the pandemic. And today I see that sense of frustration that the world is not listening to, regarding things like food and fuel,” he said.

He said there is a feeling that their inability to cope with the daily necessities of life is being ignored by more established or powerful nations around the world.

“We tend to look at Ukraine to some extent, of course, as a sort of East-West issue. I think there’s a north-south aspect to the fallout from the Ukraine conflict,” he added.

“If you look at the reformed global architecture, we say very clearly that India should be on the reformed Security Council. But we say equally forcefully that the entire continent of Africa is excluded and Latin America is excluded,” he said. added.

Somehow, the system also shouldn’t necessarily cater to the big guns if there’s to be greater legitimacy, Jaishankar added.

There is a bigger problem here, there is an aspect of fairness and fairness. About the ties with New Zealand, he said: “The opportunities to work together are much more realistic and practical.”

“We have to look at each other very objectively, creatively and positively and what are the strengths that we have to play and try to build a stronger relationship,” he said.

He said an area of ​​focus in bilateral ties with New Zealand would be business.

Jaishankar said that stronger business ties do not require a free trade agreement (free trade agreement) and gave the example of the European Union, the US and China with which India does not have a free trade agreement.

How can we grow our business partnership is the biggest challenge, said Jaishankar.

He said other areas of cooperation with New Zealand would be education and digital collaboration, climate, security and well-being of the region.

He said the world has seen multiple stress tests since 2019, such as COVID, the crisis in Afghanistan and now the conflict in Ukraine.

Each of them, one on top of the other, has put the world in difficult circumstances, he said.

“It is very important today to recognize that and understand that there are many countries that are looking to the future and very concerned about their ability to get fuel, food, fertilizer or finance for the people,” the minister said.

“It’s a tough time and when times are tough, it’s just as important that those who have the capacity to be part of the solution come forward and do what they can. Each of us may not be able to change the world alone but by working together we multiply the capabilities a little bit,” he said.

A prime example was raised during the COVID-19 pandemic, he said.

“We were one of the largest vaccine manufacturers and even when we vaccinated our own people, we made a very conscious decision that we would help others and prioritized countries we helped that would not have fair access to vaccines,” he said. he.

“In this region, we have given vaccines to Fiji and the Solomon Islands,” he said.

“We need a kind of collaborative approach to neighborhood surveillance of the region (Indo-Pacific), where those who are comfortable with each other are willing to work for the betterment of the region,” he said.

In response to a question about the existence of a binary view of the world and India’s position in it, Jaishankar opined that the binary view is “outdated”.

“And frankly, in the defense of the US, they don’t have a binary vision anymore. In fact, one of the changes we’ve seen in recent years is that the US is much more open to collaborating with countries outside the traditional alliance or treaty relations,” he said.

“So you have mechanisms like the QUAD, which involves some of the traditional US allies, but also countries like India, which historically has stayed away from alliances and treaties,” he added.

“My sense of why we should put the binary framework to rest is if you look at the distribution of power today, if you look at the major economies of the world… I would say there has been a much flatter distribution of power over the past 30-40 years,” he said.

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