In a recent conversation with journalist Lionel Barber titled ‘How a Billion People See the World’ in London, India’s External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar highlighted how India’s purchase policies played a crucial role in stabilising the global oil and gas markets amid the Russia-Ukraine war.
According to Jaishankar, India’s strategic approach to oil purchases not only prevented a potential spike in global oil prices but also helped manage global inflation.
India’s Role in Stabilising Global Oil and Gas Markets
Jaishankar stressed the significance of India’s purchase policies in softening the oil and gas markets during the Russia-Ukraine war.
He explained that if India had resorted to the same suppliers as Europe, the global oil prices would have skyrocketed as Europe would have outpriced India.
Thankfully, India’s status as a significant player in the oil market allowed it to command respect and prevent prices from spiraling out of control.
India’s approach to oil purchases had a ripple effect on the global oil and gas markets. Smaller countries, unable to compete with Europe’s prices, faced difficulties in securing oil and gas supplies.
Some even struggled to receive responses to their tender inquiries as suppliers focused on dealing with countries of larger stature. Consequently, India’s purchase policies not only prevented its own prices from soaring but also safeguarded the market from inflated prices that could have led to global inflation.
India’s Contribution to Managing Global Inflation
By successfully managing the oil and gas markets, India indirectly contributed to the management of global inflation. In a dynamic global economy, oil and gas prices play a critical role in determining inflation rates.
As such, India’s ability to stabilize prices translated into a positive impact on inflation worldwide. This achievement highlights the country’s strategic thinking and its role as a responsible player in the global market.
Canada’s Allegations and India’s Response
On another note, Jaishankar responded to Canada’s allegation of India’s involvement in the killing of Sikh separatist terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar.
While India is not ruling out an investigation, Jaishankar requested Canada to provide evidence to substantiate their claims.
He emphasized that Indian politics perceives Canada as granting space to extreme political opinions advocating separatism from India, even through violent means.
The presence and tolerance of such views within Canadian politics have led to attacks on Indian diplomats and intimidation of consulate generals and other diplomats.
Jaishankar highlighted the imperative nature of responsible use of freedom of speech and expression.
While individuals have the right to articulate their views, misuse of these freedoms for political purposes is detrimental.
To ensure a harmonious and respectful international relationship, countries must strike a balance between freedom of expression and the repercussions of tolerating its misuse.