Blog doesn’t need ‘certificate’ from West to work with Moscow – ruling party spokesperson


A senior member of the Narendra Modi-led BJP underscored to RT the importance of maintaining robust ties with Russia

India will continue to explore more avenues for collaboration with Russia regardless of how these ties are seen by other nations, Jaiveer Shergill, the national spokesperson for the country’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), asserted during an interview with RT on Wednesday. He said that India “does not take any pressure from the Western world” and will act in its own interests. 

 ”India does not seek any certificates or dictations from the Western world regarding its ties with Russia or any other country, for that matter,” Shergill, who is also a lawyer on the Supreme Court, said during the conversation with RT. 

According to Shergill, Russia holds “a very, very important place” in India’s foreign policy. He added that the “India-Russia friendship [dates] back to the Cold War” and has been through “all kinds of turbulence and weather.” 

India has continued to engage extensively with Russia despite Western sanctions against Moscow in the wake of the Ukraine conflict – and despite continuous scrutiny from the US and many European nations over its imports of Russian oil and other commodities.   

“Russia has been there for India and India has been there for Russia,” Shergill said. “In all sectors – from defense, investment in hydrocarbons, oil, [and] procuring oil from Russia,” he continued, India will engage with Russia and explore new areas for cooperation, he vowed.

Shergill was probed on India’s relationship with Russia against the backdrop of the death of opposition activist Alexei Navalny. “Russia was, is, and will remain India’s strong friend and ally,” he told the state-owned German outlet Deutsche Welle at the Munich Security Conference. Russia and Ukraine should come to a “unanimous solution” as per the declaration signed at the G20 summit in New Delhi last year, he suggested. 

Last year, New Delhi and Moscow for the first time registered bilateral trade worth over $50 billion, thanks in large part to India’s increased imports of Russian oil. Meanwhile, Indian officials have argued that trade with Russia is driven by the country’s “pragmatism” and claimed that oil purchases have helped to stabilize the energy market and prevent greater inflation. 

Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar has previously criticized Western sanctions and noted that many parts of the world did not agree with them. At the Munich Security Conference, the diplomat argued that India should be lauded for its “multilateral” approach to foreign policy. Days later, at the Raisina Dialogue in New Delhi, he suggested that countries in Asia and elsewhere should engage more with Russia as it seeks new partnerships amid the standoff with the West.

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