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Transcript of Weekly Media Briefing by the Official Spokesperson (April 28, 2022)

April 29, 2022

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official Spokesperson: A very Good afternoon to all of you. Thank you for joining us for this week's media briefing. I don't have any particular announcement. As you know, we yesterday announced visits of Prime Minister to Europe, and External Affairs Minister to Bangladesh and Bhutan which is actually underway, as we speak. And with that, let me open the floor for questions. Let me see who all I saw actually, his hand first. Okay, let's start with you.

Shailendra: Sir Shailendra hoon News 18 se, aapne dekha hoga ki haal hi mein PM Modi ne J&K visit kiya tha, uske ooper Pakistan ke PM Shehbaz Sharif ne iss ko staged visit kaha tha, is par kuchh? (questioned in Hindi; Approximate Translation) Sir I am Shailendra from News 18. You must have seen that recently PM Modi had visited J&K. On the visit, Pakistan PM Shehbaz Sharif called it a staged visit, something on this?

Sridhar: Sridhar from Asian Age. Sir, recently, there were reports from the Civil Aviation front, quoting International Air Transport Association, IATA that India has revoked the tourist visas of Chinese nationals. So we have some clarity on that, and what is the reason it was done at this time, because some suggested it was a tit-for-tat response?

Sidhant: Sir Sidhant, from WION. My question is on Prime Minister’s visit, if you could talk about the key focus area given the fact that this is first foreign visit of the Prime Minister and he's going to Europe at a time that we know the Russian invasion of Ukraine is underway. So if you could talk about the highlights, key focus area India is going to raise.

Ashok: Hi Sir I’m Ashok from ANI. Kuchh aise reports hai ki Vande Bharat semi high speed trains hain uss ke wheels ko lana hai Romania se, to kya hum airlift kar rahe hai ya fir Ukraine mein woh wheels bane the jisko Romania pahunchaya gaya hai. Uss ka status kya hai ? kyonki abhi uska trial hona hai aur PM Modi ka ek flagship program bhi hai. (Questioned in Hindi; Approximate Translation) Hi sir I am Ashok from ANI, there are some reports that Vande Bharat semi high speed trains, its wheels have to be brought from Romania, so are we airlifting or are the wheels made in Ukraine which has been delivered to Romania, what is the status? Because right now they have to undergo trial run and it is PM Modi’s flagship programme.

Kadambini Sharma: I’m Kadambini Sharma from NDTV. How many Ministers and who are the Ministers who are travelling with PM Modi to Germany?

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official Spokesperson: Thank you. Let me try to answer some of the questions, pretty straightforward. Look, as you know, the Prime Minister's visit to Europe is an important event. This is the first outgoing visit for the Prime Minister in 2022. We've issued a reasonably detailed, I thought press release, giving a sense of what he's going. He's going to Germany, he'll be going to Denmark, and then he will have a short-ish visit to France. We have clarified some of the things that he will be doing. I could read out a couple of more elements of that. But look, I think what we will do like we will try to organise a more detailed briefing. I know there'll be interest in this. So instead of pre-empting that today, why don't we just wait for that. I know, departure is in a couple of days, no little more. So between now and departure, we'll try to organize something more detailed.

Sidhant, you mentioned I think about what would be focus? Look, I think on Germany, this is the intergovernmental commission, this is something very unique that we do with Germany with multiple ministers. In fact, Kadambini asked who are the ministers? We will share with you the final lists, which was there. This is an opportunity, it gives us sort of a whole of government interaction with Germany, we're looking forward to that. We have a new Chancellor there; this will be the first interaction with him. So that's a very important visit. With Denmark, it is not just a bilateral one. Prime Minister of Denmark was here last year, which you will recall, we also have expanded our interaction with individual Nordic countries. And this is a good opportunity to discuss in a more structured format, we have had the first Nordic summit, I think in 2018. This will be the second one. Again, we're looking forward to a very useful and important visit. France we've just had President Macron being re-elected. And this will be one of the early visits by Prime Minister, a Foreign leader to be there. Again, France is a very, very important partner for us. And we will share with you details. So that's the broad elements. I wouldn't like to put it in the context of ongoing developments. Naturally topical issues do get discussed but I think there is a lot more to it than just ongoing issues. But bear with us we will come back to you with more details on the visit. So that answers you Kadambini on that.

Moving on to I think on Vande Bharat, Ashok ji aapne puchha tha na Vande Bharat, dekhiye ye issue pe baat hui thi ,hamare pas Jitna to hame malum hai ukraine mein kuchh banate hai axles hain , wheels hai is tarah ki cheeze banati hai vahan pe, uske components kuchh bante hai . vahan pe jari jo conflict chal rahi hai uske chalte delivery schedule par kuchh impact hua hai, par hum dekh rahe hai kya options hai hamare pass taki ye delivery ho jaye time pe jitni jaldi ho sake hum kar saken, par exact details kaise aa rahi hai, kab aa rahi hai ye, Railway Ministry bata payegi kyoki unke taraf se hai aur hum coordination mein hai taaki ye components jaldi se jaldi aa jaye india mein . Dekhiye ye woh kharid rahe hai unke taraf se, saare option dekh rahe hai, jo bhi possible hota hai, kuchh cheeze aasan ho jaati hai air se, kuchh cheeze mushkil hoti hai . details wo hi bata payenge . (Answered in Hindi; Approximate Translation) Ashokji, you asked on Vande Bharat, look on this issue, as far as we know, in Ukraine, some things are made like axles, there are wheels, such things are made there, its components are made. There is some impact on the delivery schedule due to the ongoing conflict there, but we are looking at what options we may have so that this delivery can be done as soon as possible, but exact details as to how they are coming, when, Railway Ministry will be able to tell this, because the purchase is from their side and we are coordinating so that these components come as soon as possible to India. See, they are buying from their side, they are looking at all the options, some things become easier via air, some things are difficult. Only they will be able to tell the details .

I think there was a query on tourist visas for China. I forgot who asked sorry. Sorry, Sridhar, you would have asked. Look on that let me put it to you this way. I think you're all aware of the COVID situation in Chinese cities like Shanghai and elsewhere. I don't think it's an opportune moment really to discuss you know, I would call resumption of tourism or tourist visas, issuance of tourist visas from China. You're also aware that China has itself suspended issue of most types of visas to Indians since I think November 2020. So I'll leave it at that. I don't think it's the most opportune time to discuss resumption of issuance of tourist visas with China, other visas some are being issued. But I think on this issue, given the COVID situation, I think I would leave it at that, and

Shailendra aapne shuru kiya tha jo prashn, dekhiye Pradhan Mantri ji Jammu and Kashmir mai gaye hai, jayenge, ismen staged vala muje samajh nhi aaya kya woh kehna chahte hai. Kya woh nahi gaye the, staged vala mujhe samajh nahi aaya . Vo gaye the aapne dekha unke visuals jo changes badlav aaye hai Jammu and Kashmir mein aur kiss tarah se unaka svagat hua, toh isase aur hamare bolne k liye kyaa ? sab dekh hi pa rahe hai kya ho raha hai . Pakistan ka ismen kehna hi galat hai ki agar vo us tarah se Jammu Kashmir par nazar daal kar bol rahe hai aur agar aise general comment hai tb bhi galat hai. (Answered in Hindi; Approximate Translation) The question that you asked, Shailendra, look, the Prime Minister has gone to Jammu and Kashmir. What do they want to say- staged? Did he not go? I did not understand. You have seen the visuals, you have seen the changes in Jammu and Kashmir and how they were welcomed, so what is it that we should speak about? Everyone can see what's going on. It is wrong for Pakistan to say that, if they are talking in that way by looking at Jammu and Kashmir, and if it is a general comment, then also it is wrong.

So I will leave it at that. Thank you. Look on the issue of Prime Minister's visit to the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, as I was just telling Shailender, I don't understand the word staged. It seems to indicate the visit did not take place and we are trying to show that it did. I think it's pretty clear that the reception that he got and the visuals that you saw and the development projects that he inaugurated and the changes that have happened on the ground is a very clear answer to any questions that may be raised about Prime Minister's visit about it. In any case, I think Pakistan has no locus to talk about and from this perspective on what's happening in Jammu and Kashmir, but I answered in the context of if somebody is questioning the visit itself. Okay, moving on.

Huma: Sir, I want to add something.

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official Spokesperson: Okay, then I will take your question.

Huma Siddiqui: I’m Huma Siddiqui from The Financial Express. I just wanted to that he's talking about the tourist visas. But I remember in one of the briefings, there was a mention that MEA is discussing with China about the students who are not able to go back. So what is the status of the students?

Nirmala: I just had a follow up, because students from Sri Lanka and Pakistan are being allowed to go back to continue their study. So is there kind of a discriminatory aspect to it?

Shrinjoy: Sir, I’m Shrinjoy from Times Now. Sir, slightly unusual situation has come up. The Foreign Minister of Bangladesh, Mr. Momen, has publicly stated including at a press conference, that after the Americans have sanctioned one of their armed police units called RAB, he would ask India to speak to America and get relief on the issue. Now, my question Sir is has the Foreign Minister and Foreign Ministry of Bangladesh got back to you on this? And if they have, have you spoken to America?

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official Spokesperson: We would like to keep you on our rolls in the MEA, then you would know the answers, but I will come back to you. Yeah, please.

Rishikesh: Sir Rishikesh from Sputnik News. China has announced a security pact with the Solomon Islands last week. Quad members Australia, US, Japan, all of them have expressed serious concerns about this development over the pact. Does India align or attach itself with concerns expressed by Quad members?

Neeraj: Sir Neeraj News 18 India se, Pradhanmantri ke daure par pehli baar honge Ukraine par hamle ke baad mein Pradhanmantri wahan Europe mein, Ukraine kitna bada mudda hoga agar un tino deshon ke taraf se rakha jata hai Pradhanmantri ke samaksh to usi stand ko dohraya jayega jo ab tak Bharat ne dohraya hai. (Questioned in Hindi; Approximate Translation) Sir Neeraj News 18 From India, it will be the first time the Prime Minister is going for a foreign visit after the attack on Ukraine, and how big will the Ukraine issue be in Europe, if it is placed on behalf of those three countries, will India’s stand be repeated by the Prime Minister?

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official Spokesperson: Okay, let me take this round of questions, I'll come back to another round.

On the issue of tourist visas, etc. let me clarify. I emphasised, again, on the issue of tourist visas, you're aware of the situation there right? I don't think this is the right time to talk about resumption of issuance of tourist visas. So let me clarify. We're talking about tourist visas, resumption of issuance of tourist visas. Chinese themselves have not issued visas to us. I think travel to China is not the easiest of things, nor is travel out of China, I presume. So I don't know how this issue of resumption of tourist visa has come up. I see nothing that indicates there is a resumption of tourist visa on the table that has recent developments. So I don't know how that question came up.

As regards the issue of students, yes this is something that has come up a couple of times, we have discussed, I think even on this forum, we have responded. Last, I think during the visit of Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, I think External Affairs Minister himself mentioned that we have taken it up. There's something where we believe that the Chinese Government, you know, we have requested them to look at the situation, and the difficulties that students in India are facing, but I unfortunately do not have or have not heard any update since then on this issue. This is an issue that we are focused on. But I don't have any update to share that is in terms of I haven't heard anything from the Chinese side on this. I think Nirmala was asking whether it was the issue of discrimination of the other students. Look, I can't comment on exactly what's happening between I mean, I've seen some reports but I don't want to speculate here, that some students are going back. We are concerned about students in India and on that, we don't have any movement yet on that. So if the Chinese are looking at options and how they can get students in, I sincerely hope that Indian students would also benefit from that mechanisms.

As regards the issue of Neeraj, aapka question tha Ukraine par sawal aapne puchha, dekhiye abhi se kehna kya mudda kis mudde par baat hogi aur kya kya issue pe charcha hogi ye kehna mushkil hai. Hamara jo ravaiya raha hai rukh raha hai ukraine par ye to bahut baar aap sun chuke hain, abhi haal hi mein bahut baar ho chuka hai. Ho sakta hai ki ye baat aaye kyoki ye issue abhi bada active hai vahan pe par kitna important mudda hoga, kya hoga nahi hoga, dekhate hai. Abhi jaisa maine kaha. I think ki hamare liye to bahut sare mudde hai ye visit ke liye bilateral or multilateral side se bhi, toh dekhte hain kis tarah se batchit jari rehti hai vahan pe. (Answered in Hindi; Approximate Translation) Neeraj your question was on Ukraine. See what issues will be discussed, it is difficult to say what issue will be discussed and what issue will not be discussed. Our stand on Ukraine has been clarified many times, you have heard it many times.Maybe this thing will come up because this issue is still very active there. Just like I said, I think there are a lot of issues for us, these are also from the bilateral and multilateral side for the visit, so let's see how the conversation continues.

I think Rishikesh you asked on China. Look, I don't know if the Quad made any statement, you meant that these three countries made it and you are reading it as a Quad. I'm not. Look I don't want to make a specific comment on that, because I don't want to share anything particular. But as I said, we have made opposition clear on a free and open Indo Pacific and the issue of how we see behaviour of States, and what are the concerns that I think, we've explained a lot. I think that I would like to just reiterate that and without going to the specific thing of this development. Those countries are also members of other groupings, so I wouldn’t like to put it in the Quad context.

And finally, I think Shrinjoy coming back to this, look External Affairs Minister is currently in Dhaka. In fact, literally, I think he's gonna have a meeting very soon. So I don't think I'm going to say anything at this point on what the discussions have been, or have we received it in advance or have talked about it, let the visit happen and then we'll see if we are in a position to share with you any further details on this. We've seen media reports on what the Foreign Minister said. As I said if we have received it, and if we have happened to share with another country, then maybe we may not be in a position or like to share it publicly. So let me leave it at that and let's wait for the visit to take place.

Yashee: This is Yashee, from The New Indian Express. I'd like to know about the seven sailors who will be released from Yemen. Was Oman, just providing them safe passage, or was it instrumental in their release? I mean, what was India's and Oman role in the entire process?

kalol: Kalol from The Hindu. Given the fact that Prime Minister Modi has been in contact with both the Ukrainian and the Russian sides, Is there a possibility that during his visit to Europe, there could be some sort of a peace initiative by the Indian side that could be floated? And also is it likely that PM Modi would have a stopover in Moscow on his way back?

Brahm Prakash: Bramhprakash hoon Zee news se, mera sawal yeh hai ki haal hi mein Pakistan mein jo nayi sarkar bani hai usko lekar ke bharat ko kya ummeed hai kyoki bharat key policy rahi hai ki aatankvaad aur batchit saath saath nahi chal sakte hain. Pakistan mein nayi sarkar aane ke baad Bharat ke rukh mein koi badlav hoga? (Questioned in Hindi; Approximate translation) Brahmprakash from Zee News, my question is, what does India expect from the new government that has been formed in Pakistan recently because it has been India's policy that terrorism and dialogue cannot go together. Will there be a change in India's stand after the new government in Pakistan?

Sanjeev: Sir, I am Sanjeev from news24, Though you have explained, it in detail lekin fir bhi main yeh sawal aapse dobara kar raha hoon ki abhi 21 April ko Sri Lanka mein, Sri Lankan embassy jo beijing mein hai unhonne bahut detail mein ek nikala hai notice ki jo Sri Lankan students vapas aana chahte hai padhai puri karna chahte hain medical ki woh aa sakte hai. ab is sandarbh mein chuki 21 april ko ye nikala gaya ye janana bahut jaruri ho jata hai jo hamare chhatra jo abhi online classes kar rahe hain jo china mein hai medicine ki padhai kar rahe hain ab unko clinical classes ki jarurat hai . to kya Bharat sarkar kuchh kar sakti hai is sandarbh mein ki courses ko poora karane ke lie clinical classes ki jarurat hoti hai?(Questioned in Hindi; Approximate Translation) Sir I am Sanjeev from news 24, Though you have explained it in detail, but still I am asking this question to you again that recently on 21st April in Sri Lanka, Sri Lankan embassy in Beijing has put out a very detailed notice that Sri lankan students who want to come back, want to complete the studies, they can come back to complete the studies. Now in this context, it becomes very important to know that it was put out on 21st April because our students who are doing online classes right now, who are studying medicine in China now need clinical classes. So can the Government of India do anything in terms of this, because clinical classes are required to complete the courses?

Pankaj: Sir, this is Pankaj and I’m an independent journalist. A couple of days earlier back there was a female suicide bombing case in Karachi and four foreign nationals were killed. And the Baloch Liberation Army has claimed responsibility for that. Would you like to comment on that? Thanks.

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official Spokesperson: Let me do this round. And we'll take one last round on that. Yashee, on the issue of sailors we are very happy that they're back here with us. As you saw in our message, we have thanked the Government of Oman for their assistance and facilitation in that. We have been trying to get them back for quite some time and Prime Minister himself has been monitoring it. Exact roles, look, we've been trying, they've been trying, these things are best left at that.

Kalol, let me start with part two of your answer. At this point, we have announced a visit to three countries, we're pretty far away from your fourth destination that you mentioned, the Prime Minister, of course, is free to go wherever he likes, but at least I am not in a position to remotely even suggest that that is happening. [inaudible] I don't think any peace initiative is something that we have ever talked about. We have said that we have been in touch with both sides. And we're ready to assist both sides but subsequently, I think it has been clarified that both the EAM and others that we haven't really received any particular requests from either side to carry a message or anything like that. I don't think a peace initiative. But again, who knows, as I always say, how can I pre judge the future? But I'll be the first to be surprised. And I think the focus of the visit will be a lot more on what India can do with these countries. And as I said, we try to get you more details of that.

Bramhprakash ji aap pooch rahe the aur aapka Karachi ke saath you had the question. Brahmaprakash ji aapne puchha ki kya ummide hai, nahi aapne puchha tha hamara rukh badal raha hai ya nahi? Dekhiye hamara rukh to bahut simple hai ki aise ek mahaul ho jisme terrorism na ho. woh aisa ek mahaul ho tabhi batchit ho sakti hai, kuchh ho sakta hai. agar ismein badlav aaye agar nahi to ismen, aap hamare donon sarkaaron ke beech pradhanmantriyon ke beech exchange hua tha courtesy letters. But hamara jo main mudda raha hai ki aisa ek atmosphere rahe jahan pay aatankwad na ho, ye hamara jayaz maang hai toh fir batchit kaise ho sakti hai? aapne puchha tha koi badlav hai, nahi hai. (Answered in Hindi; Approximate translation) Brahmaprakash ji you were asking and your question was related to Karachi. Brahmaprakash ji, you asked what are the expectations, you asked whether our stand is changing or not, see, our stand is very simple that there should be an atmosphere in which there is no terrorism, only in such an atmosphere things can be negotiated. There had been a courtesy letters exchange between the Prime Ministers between of the two governments. But our main point has been that there should be an atmosphere free of terrorism. This is a legitimate demand, then how can there be a dialogue if there is terro? You asked if there is any change, there is no change.

Regarding Karachi look, let me clarify this very clearly, our stance against all forms of terrorism- anywhere- has been consistent. We've been condemning it. This particular incident only underlines the need for all countries to take an undifferentiated position against terrorism. I think I will emphasize that element.

Sanjeev ji aap pooch rahe the Sri Lanka students ke baaren mein, dekhiye maine dekha hai ye reports kuch students ke baare mein, par uske details humein nahi malum kyoki woh SriLanka aur Cheen ke beech mein hai . hamari koshish toh ye hi hai ki hamare students vapais ja payen clinical ya poori padhai kar payen .har level par hamane raise kiya hai par abhi tak response aayi nahi hai jo hum share kar payen jisse hamare students ja payen . Hamari koshish jari rahegi is par (Answered in Hindi; Approximate Translation) Sanjeev ji, you were asking about Sri Lanka students, look I have seen these reports but I don't know the details because it is between Sri Lanka and China. Our effort is to get our students there to get there clinical or full study completed. At every level we have raised this issue, but there has not been a response yet which we can share so that our students can go. Our efforts will continue on this.

Okay, let me take the last round of questions.

Karachi humle pe (Questioned in Hindi; Approximate translation) On Karachi Attack. Dekhiye aatankwad ke baaren mein, aatankwad ke liye hamara jo rukh hai ki saare aise incidents aatankwad ke, hum uske khilaf hai aur chahe kahin bhi ho aur jis tarh ke bhi ho, aur ispe ye rukh hamara hamesha se raha hai koi ismein badlav nahi aaya hai. Aur is karachi ke aatankwad ke hamle ke baaren mein main ye kehna chahunga ki ise sabhi deshon ke liye ye aatkanwad ke khilaaf ek undifferentiated position jo hum chahte hai ki kuchh terrorist attack mein hum haan kahe ya dusro ko condemn karen ye theek nahi hai . Isske avashyakta par fir se underline kiya gaya rekhankit kiya gaya ki ye jaruri hai . (Answered in Hindi; Approximate Translation) Look at our stand on terrorism, Our perspective towards terrorism is that we are against all such incidents. whether they happen anywhere or they are of any type. This has always been our approach; it hasn’t changed a bit. And on this attack in Karachi, I want to say that all we want an undifferentiated position on terrorism. It is not ok to condone some terrorist attacks and condemn some terrorist attack. It’s importance has once again been underlined.

Neha: Hi sir I’m Neha from NHK and my question is regarding the Russia supplies of S400 to India. And recently, there were reports that delivery was made in this month, like somewhere in early this month. And could you just share some details about the ongoing deliveries that is going to happen? And also, I would like to know that with the wide-ranging sanctions being made on Russia, can it disrupt the supplies?

Akhilesh Suman: Sir, I’m Akhilesh Suman from Sansad TV. According to your press release, Prime Minister will be giving a very brief visit to France. So, will it be a Summit level meeting or it is just congratulating the relocated President ?

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official Spokesperson: What is the difference?

Akhilesh Suman: Will it be a Summit level meeting?

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official Spokesperson: If you mean will he meet President Macron? Yes, he will meet Macron for talks.

Akhilesh Suman: Summit level.

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official Spokesperson: Okay, this one requires little more. Yes, please.

Amiti: I’m Amiti from BusinessLine. Before the various dignitaries from Western countries visited India recently, there was a lot of buzz around, you know, Russia wanting to sell us oil at discounted rates and wanting to buy all kinds of import all kinds of things with us and also Rupee-Ruble payment mechanism. So could you just tell us what is the status around all that now?

Urvashi Khanna: Hi Sir myself Urvashi Khanna from NewsX. There are two things one is about the Nepal’s economic crisis, how we as a country are looking at it. And what is it that we are going to do? Secondly, when you were talking about the students who were studying in China’s universities while you say that you are having dialogues with them or talks with them, what is it that things are not working on it because students are in fact, coming out in very severe ways, and were trying to ask help from Indian Government for practical classes?

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official Spokesperson: Ma'am, just to reiterate the ground rules, one question one person, but this was an important issue I'll note it.

Meghna: Sir, Meghna from DD News. The World Bank has approved $47 million for India's Mission Karmayogi. So do you have any details on that?

Question: There are certain reports that four European countries have paid Russia in Ruble for gas and 10 European companies who have made some arrangements for doing that. So does that make India's position easier for paying in Ruble?

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official Spokesperson: And your clarification?

Question: Sir you said that this is not a right time, right moment for resumption of tourist visas. I just, want to know what exactly is this? I mean, where the visas revoked, or I want to know what the factual position is, when was it revoked? Because you reply suggested that it has been revoked for a long time. So, I wanted to know whether you have revoked it.

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official Spokesperson: Fair enough. Okay, that's a lot of questions. Okay. Let me try. Neha look on the issue of S 400 you referred to some reports. I don't have anything to share with you at this point. Any case procurement and supplies and those kinds of details are best answered through Minister of Defence, they would have a better idea. Disruption of supply is speculative, I wouldn't be able to comment on it. This would be for the Russian side to mention. I would request you to check with Minister of Defence on exact details of that.

Akhilesh Ji your question was on France summit versus something not summit. He will meet President Macron and will have discussions. Now the rest of it is how to characterize it I will leave that for the briefing, you can ask that same question. I don't know what to say. What's the difference between summit and a senior level meeting?

Akhilesh Suman: You tell me the difference.

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official Spokesperson: Okay, then it's up to me. We'll announce it. I will remember this question.

Coming back to this issue of I think Amiti raise this question, as well as I think, Kadambani raise the question about European countries and ruble payments. Look, let me go back to what we've been saying on a couple of times on this, look our objective has been on trying to see if we can, I think EAM said in Parliament, also, objective or our effort has been to see how we can stabilize the economic transactions or the economic engagement that we're doing with Russia in the current context. There is an inter-ministerial group, by Finance Ministries to sort out how this payment mechanism can be addressed. I don't have any particular details to share if there's been any update on that, that we'll have to check with the Minister of Finance. We are also following that I don't have anything immediate to share on that. I didn't understand would that make it easier for us to pay in rubles? I don't think that is related in any way with the issue of the Europeans are paying in rubles or not. We can pay in whatever currency that we work out. There is there are of course constraints. I know there are sanctions by some countries and that kind of issues. And I think we need to work through that.

On the issue of whether we are buying more oil or rupee-ruble again, Amiti was mentioning, look, some of this is not done directly in the G2G. So there are private companies, there are oil purchasers who do it so they may have a better fix on that. On the government perspective, is that inter-ministerial group headed by Finance Ministry is looking at how we can resolve these issues of payment mechanisms. As I said, I'm sorry, I don't have an update yet. We'll wait to see how the deliberations and the discussions there carry on.

Urvashi you mentioned about the Nepal economic crisis. I wasn't sure what you had in mind. Look, as you saw with some of our other neighbours, we have been extending whatever assistance we can based on their request. At this point, I'm not sure if there's any particular request for any item, or at least I'm not aware, I must confess, I know they've been some difficulties with foreign exchange that what we see in media, but I leave it to the Government of Nepal to tell us if there is something that we could assist. In Sri Lanka case, we had specific requests that they made, and we have been trying to assist with what we can do.

On the students look, let me emphasize. On the student’s issue, we understand their pain. They are here, they came a long time ago, they need to complete classes, they're doing online, this is exactly what we've been sharing with the Chinese side, saying look on a humanitarian, they need to look at this and find a mechanism, find a solution to this. But as I said, they haven't yet done so. If they have done so some other countries, maybe they can do that for our students also, but I don't have a positive answer yet.

Meghna, I must confess on the 47 million Mission Karmayogi - this is probably not through MEA, hence, we don't have an update. I'll try to find something on this. Probably being done through DEA. So maybe that's why we don't have it, but we'll check since you raised this issue. Look, there's a lot of funding that comes in through either grants are co-fundings. I don't know what this specifically is this 47 million. Let me not comment on something that I am not fully aware of.

And the final issue, back to visas issue. You know that before COVID hit or when COVID hit, I think it was March 2020 we had to freeze visas, across the board for all countries. Tourist visas was stopped for all countries. So when I say resumption, I mean from there. I don't think there has been a resumption of issuance of visas since their vis a vis tourists from China. That's what I meant. I don't want you to misquote me, so let me go back to what I was saying. I think I wrote it down somewhere. Yeah, I said, I don't think this is an opportune moment to discuss the resumption of issuance of tourist visas from China in the context of what's happening in Shanghai, and the COVID situation there. So let's be specific to that.

[inaudible] Look at this point, I think is premature. She's just left for a visit. There's an important visit to Latin America, three countries she's covering. What we will try to do is share with you more details as she does the various legs of the visit. And there's something that we're happy that we were able to do, because of all the other movements and travel that's happening. We're looking forward to engaging with these countries and deepening the kind of outreach and which each country there is something different that's happening. So instead of mentioning that right now, we've issued a press release. You've already seen that. We'll try to bring you more details as the visit unfolds.

You had a small clarification Akhliesh. Tell.

Akhilesh Suman: Sir again, I'm Akhilesh Suman from Sansad TV. Sir, India has always been opposing unilateral sanctions other than United Nations. This time sanctions have been put by many countries, including America and European Union countries. And sanctions might affect India also. So are you in talks with European Union because (32;13 inaudible) President was here and Prime Minister is going to Germany and Denmark and France. And you are also in conversation with Americans continuously. So [inaudible] talk that the sanctions shouldn’t affect us in some way or the other?

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official Spokesperson: That's a very idealistic position, I wish I could take that. Look, I don't think our position on sanctions has changed one bit. We have always stood by the UN sanctions. As regards another part of your question, I think Foreign Secretary on this very podium had clarified that look, there is a possibility that the sanctions might impact us. And that's exactly what we're having this inter-ministerial discussions or other conversations to see how we can keep our economic interaction with Russia stabilised, and also to see how we can ensure that our companies etc., or our interests are not affected. But to say that it will not happen is very difficult to say, because, again, let's see the full range of sanctions are or how they impact us. And this is exactly why we have been hesitant to comment about exactly what are the implication of the second order impacts. I think Sidhant we'll have to stop here. Thank you very much today. Thanks for joining us. Good evening.

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