March 25, 2023

News 24a

News that matters

Analysis: India has not decided whose side it is on. He declares himself anti-war, but supports Putin

When Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi told Vladimir Putin last month that “today is not the age of war,” the West welcomed India’s approach, CNN reports.

French President Emmanuel Macron praised Modi and the White House praised what it called a “statement of principle”.

But the reality, analysts say, is less simple.

Instead of cutting economic ties with the Kremlin, India has undermined Western sanctions by increasing purchases of Russian oil, coal and fertilizers, giving Putin a financial lifeline.

New Delhi has repeatedly abstained from votes condemning Russia at the United Nations, giving Moscow a modicum of international legitimacy. And in August, India participated in Russia’s large-scale Vostok military exercises along with China, Belarus, Mongolia and Tajikistan where Moscow paraded its vast arsenal.

Read also

harghita - 1

Last week, India abstained from another UN draft resolution condemning Russia for its fake referendums in four regions of Ukraine, which were used as a pretext by Moscow to illegally annex Ukrainian territory – significantly raising the stakes of the war.

India is “deeply disturbed” by developments in Ukraine, said Ruchira Kamboj, New Delhi’s permanent representative to the UN, but stopped short of blaming Russia and called for an “immediate ceasefire and resolution of the conflict”.

This apparent contradiction exemplifies India’s unique stance on the war: verbally distancing itself from Russia while maintaining essential ties with Moscow.

Modi’s “stronger language vis-à-vis Putin” should be seen in the context of rising food, fuel and fertilizer prices, said Deepa Ollapally, professor and director of the Rising Powers Initiative at George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs.

“There is a certain level of impatience (for India) with the escalation of the war,” she said. “There is a sense that Putin is pushing the limits of India because, in a way, it has put itself at risk. And it is not a comfortable position for India”.

The tale of two Indias

As Russian troops massed on the border with Ukraine last December, Modi hosted Putin in New Delhi during the 21st annual India-Russia Summit.

“My dear friend President Vladimir Putin,” Modi said, “your attachment to India and your personal commitment symbolizes the importance of India-Russia relations and I am very grateful to you for that.”

New Delhi has close ties to Moscow that date back to the Cold War, and India remains heavily dependent on the Kremlin for military equipment — a vital link given India’s ongoing tensions on its shared Himalayan border with an increasingly assertive China. .

But according to analysts, India is worried that Putin’s growing isolation could bring Moscow closer to Beijing – and that is causing India to tread carefully.

India’s maneuvering of its stance on Russia’s aggression in Ukraine was highlighted when, alongside China, it took part in Russia’s Vostok military exercises – a move criticized by its Western partners.

“This can be seen as a tale of two Indias,” Ollapally said. “On the one hand, they reject China and then exercise together with China and Russia, giving Russia some legitimacy.”

At least superficially, India and China also appear to have similar positions on the war in Ukraine. Both positioned themselves as neutral spectators rather than vocal opponents. Both also called for peace – but refused to outright condemn the invasion.

Source link