Need to address serious energy security concern: India amid rising food, energy costs due to Ukraine conflict
United Nations: With food and energy costs spiralling, especially for many developing countries in the wake of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, India has for the first time told the UN Security Council that energy security is a “serious concern” and needs to be “addressed through cooperative efforts.”
India’s Deputy Permanent Representative at the UN Ambassador R Ravindra, speaking at the UNSC meeting on the humanitarian situation in Ukraine on Tuesday, said that the food security challenges emanating from the Ukraine conflict “requires us to respond creatively”.
“The impact of the situation is being felt beyond the region with increasing food and energy costs, especially for many developing countries.
“It is in our collective interest to work constructively, both inside the United Nations and outside, towards seeking an early resolution to the issue,” he said.
“The growing shortages can only be addressed by going beyond constraints that bind us presently. Energy security is equally a serious concern and needs to be addressed through cooperative efforts,” Ravindra said.
This is the first instance since Russia’s February 24 invasion of Ukraine that India has, in the UN Security Council, underlined the need to address the issue of energy security in the wake of the conflict through “cooperative efforts.”
In its previous statements on Ukraine in the powerful UN organ, India has maintained that the impact of the crisis is being felt beyond the region with increasing food and energy costs, especially for many developing countries.
It has also said that the conflict was having an impact on the global economy, especially on many developing countries, including through disruption of supply chains and its adverse impact on energy and commodity prices was evident.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, who was recently in Washington for the India-US 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue — when asked at a press conference about India’s oil purchase from Russia — had said: “If you are looking at energy purchases from Russia, I would suggest that your attention should be focused on Europe.
“We do buy some energy, which is necessary for our energy security. But I suspect looking at the figures, probably our total purchases for the month would be less than what Europe does in an afternoon.”
Jaishankar, while speaking alongside visiting British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss at the India-UK Strategic Futures Forum in New Delhi last month, had said that “when the oil prices go up, I think it is natural for countries to go out into the market and look for what are the good deals for their people.”
“But I am pretty sure if we wait for two or three months and actually look at who are the big buyers of Russian oil and gas, I suspect the list would not be too different from what it used to be and I suspect we won’t be in the top 10 on that list,” he said.
Ambassador Ravindra said India supports calls urging for guarantees of safe passage to deliver essential humanitarian and medical supplies; including through the establishment of permanent humanitarian corridors.
“We hope the international community will continue to respond positively to the evolving humanitarian requirements,” he said.
Ambassador Ravindra noted with concern that the humanitarian situation in Ukraine has deteriorated further and women and children have been disproportionately impacted, forming the bulk of the people who have moved to neighbouring countries and displaced internally in Ukraine.
“India continues to remain deeply concerned at the worsening situation and reiterates its call for immediate cessation of violence and end to hostilities.
“We have emphasised right from the beginning of the conflict the need to pursue the path of diplomacy and dialogue. When innocent human lives are at stake, diplomacy must prevail as the only viable option,” he said.
India continues to emphasise to all member states of the UN that the global order is anchored on international law, UN Charter and respect for territorial integrity and sovereignty of states, the Indian ambassador added.