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India-A major potential partner for Europe and Estonia

India’s role in global affairs is increasingly under the spotlight, with its growing economic prowess and strategic importance. According to Jonatan Vseviov, Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia, India’s position in international relations, especially in light of recent events such as the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, is of significant interest.

Responding to questions by the visiting media, Vseviov noted a trend in Europe towards diversifying economic and security partnerships, particularly due to concerns over over-reliance on specific countries, especially those with authoritarian regimes. In this context, India emerges as a major potential partner for Europe and Estonia, despite the significant population and size differences between the countries.

“There’s a growing trend in Europe, not solely due to Russia’s aggression or China’s role, but also stemming from the realities of globalization post-COVID-19. Europe aims to de-risk economic dependencies and enhance security partnerships. While Estonia recognizes India’s potential as a major partner, challenges exist due to the size difference,” said Jonatan Vseviov, Secretary General, MFA Estonia

While acknowledging challenges in size differences, particularly in meeting Indian market demands, Vseviov highlighted areas like digital services and education systems as potential areas for collaboration. Politically, India is recognized as a major global power, with its stance on fundamental global issues garnering attention.

Russia-Ukraine

“Ukraine is a sovereign nation. Sovereignty is about being able to make your own decisions with regard to your domestic and foreign policies within internationally accepted legal parameters on which Ukraine was doing. Russia didn’t want it. Russia didn’t want Ukraine to have a closer relationship with Europe and NATO, Russia did not want Ukraine to join the European Union. Ukraine’s application to join NATO came only off the Russia unleashed the aggression,” he said in response to a question by Financial Express Online.

Are you happy with the stand taken by India on this Russia -Ukraine issue?
Regarding India’s position on the Russia-Ukraine conflict, he highlighted India’s support for United Nations resolutions condemning aggression against Ukraine. However, expressed concerns about the pace of global action and the need for clearer messaging to deter further aggression.

India has been advocating for dialogue between Russia and Ukraine. Why hasn’t this dialogue happened yet?
Addressing India’s stance on the conflict, Vseviov underscored the need for global partners to communicate clarity in their opposition to territorial changes through military force. In response to Financial Express Online question, he stressed the importance of convincing Moscow that the world will not accept a return to imperialistic tendencies.

Regarding India’s purchase of oil from Russia, Vseviov expressed disapproval, highlighting the need for unified international action against aggression.

India-Estonia Bilateral Ties: What are the immediate goals for Estonia-India relations, particularly in trade and commerce?
In terms of bilateral ties, Vseviov talked about significant potential for growth, particularly in high-tech sectors where Estonia could serve as an entry point to the wider European market. He also mentioned tourism as an area for potential growth, highlighting Estonia’s attractions and culinary scene.

Estonia has been a pioneer in cybersecurity. How do you view India’s efforts in this field?
“India’s efforts are not widely recognized in Europe. India needs to promote its cybersecurity capabilities more actively, as it could potentially be a trustworthy host for digital infrastructure,” he said.

On cybersecurity, Vseviov underscored the importance of international cooperation, citing Estonia’s experience in dealing with cyber-attacks. He noted the need for trust and information sharing between governments and private entities.

The Estonian Secretary General Vseviov sees India as a key player in global affairs, with potential for deeper cooperation, especially in high-tech sectors and cybersecurity. Financial Express

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