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A Non Aligned Europe

by Rinku Khumukcham
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By: Sauro Dasgupta
Prime Minister Modi’s Europe visit has been a spectacular success. It comes close on the heels of UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss meeting External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s visit to India.
This time, Germany has a new Chancellor. Olaf Schatz has been quite a pragmatic figure. Germany not only invited India to G7 but also affirmed the importance of Indo- German ties.
However Europe expresses discomfort at India not taking an anti-Russia stance now, Europe should understand our priorities- of having close ties with both the West and Russia in keeping with out historically and time tested policy of Non Alignment.
DrJaishankar has been rightly outspoken in his defence of India on multilateral fora, be it during his meeting with UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, the 2+2 meeting in Washington DC or at the RaisinaDialogue. He pointed out that when the Rules Based Order was regularly violated in South Asia India was advised to do more trade, an oblique reference to our clashes with Pakistan and China and the Western attitude to the same.
DrJaishankar also explained the Western hypocrisy by saying that the amount of oil that India purchased from Russia in a month would be less than what Europe did in an afternoon. When US Secretary of State Anthony Blinkenraised concerns about human rights issues in India, DrJaishankarasserted India’s right to also be concerned about human rights abuses in the Western world, that have become absolutely normalized today, whether it is desecration of Oriental scriptures, assault on Asians, Hispanics and Blacks , loot and hatred directed against them everyday in the West.
PM Modimet with the Danish Queen and the Danish Prime Minister and the Indian diaspora. He also attended India-Nordic Summit and then visitedFrench President Emmanuel Macron.EU President Ursula Von der Leyen had already PM Modi at the Raisina Dialogue, which they had jointly inaugurated.
Reeling under the mass protests in Europe against super expensive energy prices, Germany, Poland and Bulgaria are ready to pay in roubles to Russia for energy supplies. Despite being snubbed, anti-Russia leaders of Europe are silent out of fear of splitting Europe.Also, perhaps they were reminded of the EU-China Investment Treaty signed in 2020 to boost the COVID ravaged European economy.Hence, despite some objections, Germany went ahead with payment in Roubles to Russia, which not only circumvented EU sanctions, but also spoke volumes about Chancellor Olaf Schatz’s maturity.
On its part, India is pleased to see a pro-Indian wave in Europe. India must utilize this sentiment and try to work with Europe on issues of mutual interest like energy, education, healthcare, agriculture, pharmaceuticals, etc. India must not let go off this opportunity to smoothen its ties with Europe.
(The author is a PG 1 Student, Department of International Relations, Jadavpur University)


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