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Tags Current Affairs

India’s tightrope approach towards West and Russia

Date: 26 February 2022 Tags: India & World

Issue

Following Ukraine War, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has appealed for peace and return to the path of diplomatic negotiations and dialogue.

 

Background

Prime Minister spoke to Russian President Putin after an appeal by Ukraine to mediate between Russia and the West.

 

Details

  • PM Modi reiterated India’s stand that issues between Russia and the NATO group can only be resolved through honest and sincere dialogue.

  • The choice of words by the Indian PM displayed a fine balancing act by demanding cessation of violence and appealing Russian President for dialogue.

 

India’s situation

  • India is facing one of the worst diplomatic dilemma. It has key strategic partners on both side of the war.

  • India expressed regret of the situation but stopped short of condemning Russian actions in Ukraine.

  • India is caught in middle of a situation where there are principles and values on one side, and pragmatism and interests on the other side.

 

India on global stage

  • After a UNSC meeting, India said that if immediate steps were not taken to diffuse the tensions, the situation could spiral into a major crisis.

  • The statement made by India has been condemned by West as double-standards becasue India raises the same when it comes to China.

 

Importance of Russia

  • Russia has been India’s oldest strategic partner. Even after diversification, about 60-70% of defence supplies come from Russia.

  • India is in no position to antagonize Russia when China is displaying its military might on northern borders. India will need Russia’s support when US has been at its weakest.

 

Russia-China grouping

  • India has already sourced S-400 air defence system to protect against Chinese incursion. Further hostility will push Russia towards China.

  • India always felt that West’s handling of Crimea issue led Russia towards China. The continuous anti-Chinese rhetoric from US formed a Sino-Russian quasi-alliance.

  • Russia and China however are not on same page every time. China still does not recognise Crimea as part of Russia and Russia does not recognise Chinese claims over South China Sea.

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