France is the only country in the Western world that has not criticized or urged India to adopt a position similar to that of the United States or Europe in the Russian-Ukrainian war. Paris believes it can work more closely with New Delhi to “boost” its strategic autonomy and make India “more autonomous” in the production of military equipment, according to Emmanuel Lenain, French ambassador to India, reports Trend quoting The Print.
In an exclusive interview with ThePrint, the French envoy said that France does not believe in giving “conferences” to India and understands the position it has taken in the Russian-Ukrainian war as “close partner”. Lenain says Paris will work with New Delhi to overcome some of the strategic “constraints” it faces today.
“Our countries have their national position which is determined by our sovereign interest. We are not the kind of country that will lecture a close partner like India. We respect and we know that the position it takes on an issue as important as this has been determined by a process carried out by exceptional professionals and taking into account the fundamental interest of the country,” said Ambassador Lenain. in reference to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron. earlier this month.
The Ambassador said: “We want to move forward together and we want to do everything we can in a positive way and there is a lot to do and that’s what was discussed in Paris… When you take a stand you try to maneuver with your constraints. So one of our objectives, in the long term, is also to do everything to reduce your constraints, to boost your strategic autonomy.
He added: “We want to be India’s partner to strengthen your strategic autonomy in order to make India more autonomous in the production of the equipment that it needs for its security, but it is a long-term undertaking but we are totally committed to it.”
Lenain also pointed out that Prime Minister Modi and President Macron are one of the few world leaders who have opened their channels of communication with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky as war rages on.
“Our priority is to obtain a cessation of hostilities and to alleviate the plight of the population. Prime Minister Modi and President Macron are those few leaders who can really talk and were talking to both President Zelensky and President Putin,” he said, adding that the war has led to imbalances in food chains and the risk of malnutrition and starvation.