By Ajay Kaul
Vladivostok (Russia), Sep 5 : Voicing subtle criticism of the policy of sanctions adopted by some major powers, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said there are “concerns” regarding it and the world was discussing what impact such measures have on the global economy, in addition to the countries against which these are taken.
He also said that India’s decision to send some warships to the Gulf region was not aimed at attacking anyone but just to defend its tankers and ensure its energy security, considering the recent developments there.
Answering questions at the Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) here, Modi said India’s energy security largely depended on supplies of petroleum products from Iran and the “recent developments” in the region have a “side effect” on India.
He said India deployed the warships “to ensure that there is no problem to our energy security and for security of our oil tankers”.
The warships are not there to target anyone and India does not have any such ambitions, the Prime Minister said in the presence of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamed and Mongolian President Khaltmaagin Battulga.
Modi underlined that history bears testimony to the fact that India has never attacked any country and has been the largest contributor of troops to the UN Peacekeeping missions.
In the two World Wars, 1.5 lakh Indian troops were martyred while being part of the British Army, even though there was “no agenda” of their own, he said.
To a question about the policy of sanctions, the Indian Prime Minister said all over the world, discussions are being held as what impact these measures have on the countries against which these are imposed as also what is the impact on overall global economy.
“The world is concerned and discussing this in detail,” he added, without specifying any case.
The US has imposed severe sanctions against Iran, which in turn has impacted India’s oil imports from the Persian country. Indian oil companies, which were importing petroleum products from Iran, stopped doing so a few months back as they faced the threat of sanctions.
Sanctions imposed by the US against Russia also endangered the deal for supply of S-400 missile systems to India.
Skirting this aspect, Modi said India’s relations with Russia are doing well in all segments and India is benefitting from the transfer of technology.
“There are no restrictions,” he said, adding recently Russian companies have made investments in India.
(Ajay Kaul can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)