• India’s consumption of Russian oil is just one-sixth of European consumption and should not be compared unfavourably, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar said in his talks with visiting German Foreign Minister AnnalenaBaerbock on Monday, defending the government’s decision to increase the intake of Russian oil since the war in Ukraine.
  • Baerbock’s visit coincided with the launch of an “oil price cap” plan by the G-7 and European Union countries to withdraw shipping and insurance services to countries that buy Russian oil above the price of $60 a barrel.
  • “In the months following the Ukraine war, European countries have imported more Russian fossil fuel than the next 10 countries combined,” Mr. Jaishankar said, when asked by a German journalist if India would consider decreasing oil imports, especially as it assumes G-20 Presidency.
  • At the end of talks, India and Germany signed a comprehensive partnership on migration and mobility meant to ease travel for research, study and work for people in both countries. Mr. Jaishankar said it would be the “basis for a more contemporary partnership” to relations.
  • The two sides said they held talks on bilateral issues, including Germany’s assistance to India on renewable energy and energy transitions, as well as international issues such as their Indo-Pacific strategy, and spoke about China, Afghanistan and Pakistan. However, the two governments did not appear to make any headway on the contentious issue of 22-month old “Baby Ariha”.
  • Ariha Shah was taken into childcare by German authorities in September 2021, alleging that she had been abused at home, a charge her father and mother deny. While the criminal investigation was closed without charges against the parents, the German Youth Welfare Department has decided not to release the child to the parents until a court adjudicates the custody case.
  • “Our embassy is pursuing the matter but it was also a matter I brought up with the Minister,” Mr. Jaishankar said during a press conference with Ms. Baerbock.
  • Jaishankar said that he had also spoken about the challenge of cross-border terrorism from Pakistan. “We engage Pakistan on bilateral issues, but the challenge is today that we cannot have talks while there is terrorism, and I think there was some understanding from the German side on this,” he said.
  • Baerbock had clarified her remarks calling for a United Nations role in Jammu and Kashmir, human rights concerns and in mediating between India and Pakistan, telling The Hindu in an interview that Germany believes India and Pakistan must resolve their issues bilaterally


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