‘Weaponization Of Everything..’, Jaishankar Flags Change In World Affairs Amid Ukraine Conflict

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Kolkata: External Affairs Minister Dr. S Jaishankar on Wednesday said that the Ukraine conflict has dramatically widened the scope of political leveraging, in which trade, debt, and even tourism are being weaponized as points of pressure.

During a lecture at the IIM Calcutta, Jaishankar claimed that there is a larger change underway in international affairs.

While speaking on the topic of “India and the World”, he said that “This emanates from the weaponization of everything. In recent years, we have already seen how trade, connectivity, debt, resources and even tourism have become the point of political pressure. The Ukraine conflict has dramatically widened the scope of such leveraging,”

Jaishankar said the scale of measures, technology control, infrastructure and service restrictions and seizure of assets, has truly been breathtaking.

“The scale of measures, technology control, infrastructure and service restrictions and seizure of assets, has truly been breathtaking. At the same time, it is also a fact that global rules and practices have been gamed for national advantage, in a manner that can no longer be overlooked,” he added.

The minister said sharpening great power competition is inevitably creating stress factors across multiple domains. “At one level, it induces caution about international exposure but beyond a point that cannot be safeguarded because the very nature of existence is now globalized,” he said.

The external affairs minister described the globalized era as a “double-edged world” and said it is hard to separate the vulnerabilities from the dependence or the risks from the benefits.

“The very mobility that brought Covid to our homes was otherwise such an enormous source of livelihood for so many. The supply chains which created disruption when they did not function, were a boon when they did,” he said.

Speaking on India’s push on the digital front, Jaishankar said the last few years have also compelled us all to be digital.

“We, in India, have a record…that is generating respect across geographies. The scale of our digital delivery whether it is food, finance, health, pension or social benefits…the scale of it very much talks of the world,” he said.

Jaishankar said that the world is moving “not just moving towards a different model of global interaction but also ones of greater national opportunities.”

“In India, we know that, as Atamnibhar Bharat, there is no question now that foreign policy has deep personal implications for all of us because it impinges on so many aspects of our lives,” he said.

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