Why are so many foreign diplomats flocking to New Delhi? Does the road to settlement in Ukraine, pass via Delhi in 2022?
Why are so many foreign diplomats flocking to New Delhi? Does the road to settlement in Ukraine pass via Delhi in 2022?
The message that India has been sending is unmistakable. It prefers to keep out of Cold War politics. It would not relinquish its strategic alliances with Russia or the United States.
A snapshot may sometimes speak more than a thousand words, even in the intricate, nuanced arena of global diplomacy. On Friday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi met with Sergei Lavrov, Russia’s Foreign Minister. Elizabeth Truss, Britain’s foreign secretary, had been in New Delhi the day before.
The foreign ministers of China and Mexico and Germany’s national security adviser, and the US deputy national security adviser have all visited the Indian capital in the last ten days. All of them, like Mr. Lavrov, was focused on Ukraine and India’s delicate wartime tightrope walk. They were not allowed to talk with the Prime Minister. Mr. Modi’s one-on-one encounter with Mr. Lavrov, amid a flurry of international visitors who have come to Raisina Hills recently, signals a substantial shift in New Delhi’s tone from last year.
Mr. Lavrov was refused a meeting with Mr. Modi when he came in April 2021. S. Jaishankar, India’s external affairs minister, committed a blunder that only made matters worse for the veteran Russian diplomat. When speaking about the warmth and trust in the India-Russia alliance during that tour, Mr. Jaishankar made the error of mentioning the “India-US” connection.
However, if Mr. Lavrov appears to have gotten preferential treatment from the current influx of guests to India, the West, attempting to distance New Delhi from Moscow, has only itself to blame. In truth, India shares many of the worries expressed by the United States and Europe on the conflict in Ukraine. It has urged Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity to be preserved but has not outright condemned Russia.
The war has only harmed India’s interests by increasing Russia’s reliance on China. Threats and public pressure from foreign powers, on the other hand, irritate New Delhi. While in New Delhi, US deputy National Security Advisor Daleep Singh told reporters that increasing oil imports from Russia and establishing a rupee-rouble payment mechanism with Moscow to bypass Western sanctions would have “consequences.” At a panel discussion, Ms. Truss got into a heated dispute with Mr. Jaishankar, who implied that there was a “campaign” to put pressure on New Delhi. While the conflict in Ukraine has exposed India’s relationship with Russia’s limitations, the West’s response demonstrates why New Delhi will not be breaking up with Moscow anytime soon.
Many prominent political leaders and top bureaucrats from major countries have recently visited Delhi or engaged in intense virtual conversations with their Indian counterparts.
These discussions have centred on the continuing war in Ukraine, India’s political position on the Russian invasion, broad-based Western sanctions against Russia, and, to some extent, their impact on Indo-Pacific peace and stability.
Leaders on both sides of the strategic split have been working hard to persuade the Indian government of their respective perspectives and policies on the Ukrainian issue. Foreign Ministers Wang Yi of China and Sergey Lavrov of Russia have arrived in Delhi to discuss their approaches.
In contrast, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida paid a visit to Delhi, while Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison held a summit meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The other top officials are American Deputy National Security Advisor Daleep Singh, German Foreign Policy and Security Advisor Jens Plotner, and British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss. They have visited Delhi and held extended conversations with Indian leaders and high officials.
On the surface, such robust diplomatic exchanges make it appear as if India’s leadership wields the magic wand that will end the situation in Ukraine, force Russian forces to return home, bridge the US-Russian divide, bring Europe closer together, and restore India’s territorial integrity.
Nothing like that is likely to occur shortly. The truth is that the new Cold Warriors have been trying to keep India on their side in the highly complicated new Cold War that has emerged as a result of Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine and a united Western front of NATO member countries, Japan, and Australia seeking to isolate and economically cripple Russia.
Russia and China both want to survive. The triangle diplomatic arrangement between Russia, China, India, and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) and the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, China, and South Africa) Forum keep India engaged. The United States, Japan, and Australia, on the other hand, want India to be an active participant in the Quad Security Dialogue.
India’s stance on the Ukraine-Russia conflict is stable and consistent, according to President Ram Nath Kovind.
India’s position on the continuing Russia-Ukraine conflict has been “solid and constant,” according to President Ram Nath Kovind, who also called for an immediate end to the violence and a “return to the road of communication and diplomacy.”
“We are profoundly worried about the deteriorating humanitarian situation and call for an immediate end to violence and a return to the path of dialogue and diplomacy,” Kovind told the media at the Institute for International Relations in Turkmenistan, where he is on a state visit. He was reported by news agency ANI as stating, “We have also sent humanitarian help to Ukraine.”
India has taken a neutral posture in the conflict so far, calling for an end to the violence. It has abstained from all UN votes condemning Russian aggression in Ukraine while highlighting the importance of the UN Charter, international law, and respect for states’ territorial integrity and sovereignty.
In various instances, India has highlighted the need for conversation and diplomacy. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said the current Russia-Ukraine confrontation has “raised worries about the stability of the world order”. According to rumours, India is also considering purchasing crude oil from Russia at a reduced price.
“The recent events in Europe have aroused concerns about the international order’s stability. In this environment, regional cooperation has taken on greater importance “While giving a virtual address to the BIMSTEC summit.
Western nations have openly criticized Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine, putting tremendous indirect pressure on India. Several opposition leaders have also questioned the central government’s stance on the issue, which the BJP runs.
Last week, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov visited India and met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar. During the meeting with Modi, he expressed India’s willingness to help with the peace efforts in any way possible.
Shashi Tharoor, a Congress member and former UN undersecretary-general, recently described India’s approach as “a bit of a tightrope dance.”
“India has had a difficult time formulating its own position on the (Ukraine-Russia) situation as if it were its own country. There is no doubt that India appeared to be hesitant to mention anything that would irritate the Russians in its initial response “Added he.
India’s stance on the Russia-Ukraine conflict is being applauded: Rajnath Singh.
On Sunday, Union Defense Minister, Rajnath Singh, said that India’s worldwide image has improved under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership. The country’s stance on the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict is being appreciated worldwide.
“Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership, India’s worldwide image has improved. When India talks, every country in the world now pays attention. Everyone applauds India’s stance on the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Opponents of India have praised the country’s stance on the subject. “Mr. Singh made the remarks while speaking to members of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) at a ‘Holi Milan’ event in Lucknow.
According to the Minister, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has also praised India’s stance on the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
Mr. Singh’s remark comes only days after Pakistan’s Prime Minister praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘neutral’ foreign policy in the Russia-Ukraine conflict, claiming that it is for the people’s benefit.
Imran Khan previously stated, “Hindustan, our neighbouring country, deserves praise. They’ve always pursued their own foreign policy. India is now a close ally of the United States and a member of QUAD (Quadrilateral Security Dialogue that includes the US, Australia and Japan). They claim to be nonpartisan, however.”
“They are importing oil from Russia despite sanctions imposed by the US-led West in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,” he said.
Mr. Singh’s remark came only days after Pakistan’s Prime Minister praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘neutral’ foreign policy in the Russia-Ukraine conflict, saying it was for the people’s benefit.
According to Imran Khan, “Hindustan, a neighbouring country, is a country that I admire. They’ve always had a foreign policy that isn’t dictated by the United States. India is now a close ally of the United States and a member of the Quad (Quadrilateral Security Dialogue that includes the US, Australia and Japan). They claim, nevertheless, to be impartial.”
“They are importing oil from Russia despite sanctions (placed by the US-led West in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine) because their strategy is for the benefit of the people,” he explained.
“For the first time, India has done a $400 billion dollar export,” the Minister remarked.
In terms of the defense industry, Singh stated, “We are adamant on producing all defense supplies domestically… We will not be able to accomplish the aim of self-reliance if we cannot manufacture all of India’s defense products”.
According to the Defense Minister, the Indian government also played a significant part in the COVID-19 epidemic, saving the lives of its citizens and selling the vaccine to other countries.
Singh noted that India is a country of celebrations and that each of the country’s festivals serves a purpose.
The Minister added that we (Indians) also commemorate the festival of democracy in addition to these festivities.
“In this democratic celebration, BJP converted it into ‘Kesariya’ colour, and the credit belongs to people of the country and party supporters,” the Minister added, referring to the BJP’s recent victories in five of the four Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa, Punjab, and Manipur.
“This is the most significant development in Uttar Pradesh since it is the first time in 38-40 years that the BJP has formed a government for the second straight term.”
After the Lok Sabha, Singh also stated that the BJP now has a clear majority in the Rajya Sabha, with 100 seats.