Stating that strong global headwinds, instability and tension have posed a challenge to national security, Minister for External Affairs S. Jaishankar on August 12 said that volatility created by the Ukraine war has made the investment atmosphere challenging.
“Challenges keep coming. There is instability in the world and issues have increased tension posing challenge to national security. The Modi government is facing the challenge with confidence,” the Minister told presspersons at an interaction in Bengaluru.
On the long-term impact of Ukraine war, he said: “It is not easy to anticipate. It (war) has created volatility with prices going up and down... be it oil, steel, other metals or semiconductors. Everywhere we are seeing ups and downs that make the investment atmosphere challenging. However, because the world is difficult, it is not that we stop our progress and ambitions. We have to find good ways of understanding it and internalising it.”
The war has affected trade to a certain extent, resulting in energy prices going up sharply, food inflation and affecting sunflower oil imports, he added.
When asked if the country is being ‘macho’ on issues related to Ukraine war, Mr. Jaishankar said: “There is no denial of Ukraine. We are not out there doing the macho thing and saying we will take on the world. This is a responsible, prudent and sensible government that is standing for its own interests. We are big enough to define our interest and I do not think it is an unreasonable posture.”
Pointing at Europe, the Minister asked, “When Europe has taken care of its population, are we not entitled to take care of our interests?”
‘Situation tense on Indo-China border’
On the Indo-China border, the Mr. Jaishankar said the situation is tense and could become dangerous due to close positioning of troops. “We have had 15 rounds of commander-level talks and we have made substantial progress in terms of the sides pulling back from places where they were very close. But there are still some places where they have not (pulled back).”
Stating that China disturbing peace and tranquillity in the border areas will have an impact on the relationship, he said: “As I have said in the past our relationship is not normal. It cannot be normal if the border situation is not normal.”