“Had clear instructions from PM Modi…”: Jaishankar on India’s firm stand during Russia-Ukraine conflict

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Rajkot (Gujarat) [India], April 2: Heaping praise on the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said that India was able to keep a firm stand during the Russia-Ukraine conflict because there were “clear instructions” from the top leadership.
He said that PM Modi had given clear instructions to keep the interest of Indian consumers in priority despite external pressure against purchasing Russian oil.
“The biggest change that has taken place is that the same ministries and bureaucrats are now judged on the basis of their performance. So, it’s about leadership and motivation,” Jaishankar said during an interaction in Rajkot, Gujarat.
Recalling the time of conflict, he said PM Modi had asked to put all the efforts in evacuating the Indian students.
“When we sensed that tensions were increasing in Ukraine, we asked the Indian students to evacuate…once the war started, I got very clear instructions that do whatever you want to at whatever cost, put the whole ministry in action, but bring all the Indian students back. That’s what happens when you get clear instructions,” he said.
He said that India kept the interest of its consumers on priority while purchasing Russian oil, despite external pressure.
“As people know, there was a lot of pressure on us not to buy oil from Ukraine. If we had not purchased oil from Russia, we would had to purchase from Gulf nations. It would have increased the oil prices. What you are getting at Rs 100 would have cost Rs 125,” Jaishankar said.
“I was asked how was I able to keep such a clear position despite so much pressure. I was able to because I had very clear instructions from the Prime Minister. I was told that to keep the interest of Indian consumers a priority,” he added.
Recalling another serious issue during the conflict, the EAM said how the officials went to Ukraine to evacuate the students.
“During the war in Ukraine, firing was so intense in an area, that the stranded students said that they wouldn’t leave their hostels unless someone from our side came there. I called my officers and two of them were sent to evacuate the students. Both of them were very brave, but I can say everyone in the room was ready to go. This is the change today,” Jaishankar further said.

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