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He continued by saying that India should not be bound by exclusive relationships.

At the ‘Syama Prasad Lecture, New India and The World’ in Kolkata, Jaishankar discussed India’s relationships with various countries. He noted that New Delhi has “strong ties” with Russia, but added that these ties shouldn’t interfere with its “equally strong” relationship with the United States.

The External Affairs Minister responded to a question during the lecture by saying, “Here again, I think we should all recognise that for us, we should not be… it’s not in our interest to be tied down to exclusive agreements. We have a history of having close links with Russia, but this should not be a burden or a barrier to having a close relationship with the United States. Likewise, these two nations shouldn’t allow us to complain that they are stopping us from pursuing relationships with Japan, Europe, or anyone else.

I therefore do not consider our interactions to be some sort of zero-sum game. Instead, I’m trying to see if I can truly improve several important relationships, regional ties, all at once in the greatest way possible. It’s not simple, it takes a lot of dexterity to do that, and there are difficulties. But that is, in my opinion, the tough task facing Indian diplomacy right now, one that we at least feel comfortable addressing. As Prime Minister Modi has demonstrated, there are currently two significant gaps in the world. A East is present. Because of the North South split between industrialised and emerging nations, as well as the West and Russia, China, and to some extent China, he continued.

Jaishankar noted that India is viewed as a very strong democratic force and that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has attempted to position India favourably in relation to the East-West and North-South divides.

He continued by saying that for the developing countries, technology relevance is “important”.

Now, if you consider where we stand, especially if you consider the leadership which

Modi, the prime minister, has acted. He has made an effort to put us in an advantageous position with respect to both the North-South and East-West divides. As the voice of the global South, we are respected today. We are seen as an independent voice in both the East and the West,” Jaishankar added.

“We are viewed as a very potent democratic force, too. Therefore, our technology’s relevance to the industrialised world is crucial. How then can you sort of manoeuvre through a lot bigger

a complicated environment with many more variables acting in different ways. That is actually how India can rise more quickly, he continued.

He stated that China must realise that ties between large countries only function when they are built on mutual interest, sensitivity, and respect in regards to the strained relations between India and China that have resulted from skirmishes along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

According to Jaishankar, China’s violation of agreements from 1993 and 1996, notably by sending military to the LAC, is what led to the current deterioration in bilateral relations.

He remarked, “The current deterioration in our ties was not the result of our doing.China violated two agreements from 1993 and 1996 by moving forces to the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in contravention of those accords, and that is how it came to be.

“Now, if we are to have a good relationship, I think…they need to follow through on those agreements and cease attempting to change the situation on their own. They must realise that partnerships between big nations can only succeed when they are founded on shared sensitivity, interest, and respect. They must comprehend this. And I’m trying to get this over to them,” Jaishankar said.

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