Diplomatic Dilemma for India
- India’s statement at the UN lacked condemnation of the Russian attack on Ukraine, which President Vladimir Putin called a “special military operation”.
- While it came around the same time as the announcement of the attack, India’s top diplomat at the UN — reading from a prepared script — expressed “regret”and said that the “situation is in danger of spiralling into a major crisis”.
- This is India’s diplomatic dilemma, which is because of India’s strategic ties with Russia and its dependence on Russia for military supplies — 60 to 70 per cent of India’s military hardware is of Russian-origin. This is extremely crucial at a time when India has an ongoing border standoff with China.
- Earlier this week, India had not condemned Russia’s statement of recognition of the two separatist regions of Donetsk and Luhansk.
- While India may like to portray the statement as neutral, but the western bloc, led by the US, will not view it in that fashion.
- India’s worry remains its 20,000 Indian students and nationals, many of them who live close to the Ukraine-Russia border. Many of these students are enrolled in the medical colleges of Ukraine.
- India has asked “all sides” to intensify diplomatic efforts to reach for an amicable solution at the earliest. This is again a time-tested line of India’s, where it doesn’t blame one side or the other for not being cooperative. West has blamed Russia for starting the tension, and has put the ball in Putin’s court, whereas the Russian President has blamed NATO’s eastward expansion as a threat.
Source The Hindu.