India buying Russian oil is none of our business, says German ambassador

22 February, 2023 | Pragati Singh

India World

German Ambassador stated that, at some point, India would be an excellent candidate for resolving the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

The purchase of oil by India from Russia is “none of our business,” German Ambassador to India Dr Philipp Ackermann said on Wednesday, adding that the purchase decision is made by the Indian government. The German Ambassador also stated that, at some point, India would be an excellent candidate for resolving the Russia-Ukraine conflict, but that time is not now.

“India buying oil from Russia is none of our business basically. That’s something which the Indian Government decides and as you get it at a very low price, I cannot blame any government who buys it,” Ackermann said in response to queries at a press conference about the upcoming visit of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz to India on February 25 and 26.

“But we would like to see some Indian engagement at some stage. India is very appropriate candidate at some stage may be to come up with some solution. But, I don’t think this is the time now. I say this with all due caution because we have listened to what Putin said yesterday. When you want to find a solution to the conflict, you need two parties to be prepared to find this solution,” he added.

He was referring to President Putin’s remarks at the Federal Assembly of Russia.

“What we heard yesterday, Putin said…he didn’t mention the word – negotiation or peace, one single time. India has very, very skilled diplomacy, very good diplomacy, if they want to step up they will have to find a good moment to step up. What I can say is the moment is not now,” the German envoy added.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that Moscow wanted to resolve the Ukrainian conflict, but that Western countries were planning a “different scenario” behind its back, according to Reuters.

“We were doing everything possible to solve this problem peacefully, negotiating a peaceful way out of this difficult conflict, but behind our backs, a very different scenario was being prepared,” Putin said while addressing the federal assembly.

Speaking of Germany’s efforts to find a solution to the war, he stated that the German Chancellor is occasionally on the phone with Putin.

“There’s uninterrupted communication between the Kremlin and some European capitals. We have to be honest, this communication has delivered nothing, but we believe the Ukraine crisis must be resolved diplomatically,” he said.

Ackermann said Germany “will continue to help Ukraine to defend its territory”.

“The Russian side is surprised by the unity and strategic patience of the West. It is important to sustain the international order. Our position on Crimea is clear too. It is an integral part of Ukraine,” he said.

Concerning Scholz’s visit to India, he stated that the German leader will also visit Bengaluru in addition to Delhi.

“German Chancellor Olaf Scholz will arrive in India on Saturday on a bilateral visit. This is his first visit in his current tenure to India. He will visit New Delhi and Bengaluru.”

While the Ukraine crisis will be discussed in the German leader’s meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the envoy stated that the focus will be on strengthening business ties.

“India is growing” and there are many “business opportunities”, he said and noted that there are around 30 CEOs in the German delegation.

“We see Russia and Ukraine very high on agenda during the meeting between German Chancellor Scholz and PM Modi. Recently, we have seen US President Biden in Ukraine. The Indo-Pacific will be on their meeting agenda too,” Ackermann said.

He also discussed the Free Trade Agreement’s potential to strengthen trade ties.

“A Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with India will increase our business here in a substantive way. German businesses are very interested in getting an FTA done between Germany and India,” he said.