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Strategic Autonomy Exercised By India Finds Resonance In Europe

Strategic Autonomy Exercised By India Finds Resonance In Europe

As a result, he talked about how the US exacerbated the Taiwan issue, China overreacted, and Europe needed to follow the American pace. Later, in the Netherlands, Macron reaffirmed this view, saying France and Europe support Taiwan’s status quo. 

Although France is a member of the transatlantic alliance, India has always remained outside any alliance system due to its principle of autonomy. While France opted not to join the war on Iraq in 2003, it asserted its strategic autonomy. 

Additionally, it did not join the sanctions imposed by the US after our nuclear tests in 1998. It left NATO’s integrated military command in 1966 and rejoined it in 2009. 

Strategic Autonomy Exercised By India Finds Resonance In Europe

Despite European countries’ views that the US is the only way to guarantee their security, France has attempted to promote its attachment to strategic autonomy. ‘Gaullist’ pretensions are associated with France’s quest for strategic autonomy.

It is possible for France, a permanent member of the Security Council with nuclear weapons, autonomous military and space capabilities, to play a role on the international stage that is not entirely governed by its alliance obligations.

Although its manoeuvrability within the 27-member European Union is limited, it must remain a key player in the alliance, avoid ruffling the US beyond a point, and keep its influence. 

Though Europe has economic muscle, it must adhere to sanctions imposed by the US even if it hurts its companies and submits to extraterritorial US legislation under protest. Europe, however, lacks military muscle, making it subservient to the US on security and defence issues. 

France’s position on the Ukraine conflict reflects both its desire for strategic autonomy and its limitations for its exercise. Caesar cannons, anti-tank missiles, Crotale air defence missile batteries, armoured personnel carriers, and rocket launchers have been supplied to Ukraine.

Romania has received a large number of troops from the United States. Despite denials by the French Defense Ministry, leaked Pentagon documents indicate that French soldiers are in Ukraine. France has strongly condemned Russia’s military intervention and fully endorsed sanctions against it. 

Strategic Autonomy Exercised By India Finds Resonance In Europe

Meanwhile, Macron has mentioned that he plans to negotiate with Russia, addressing its security concerns when negotiating a future settlement. He has even suggested that territorial issues be discussed in peace negotiations, which has received sharp rebukes from Ukrainians and Poles. 

This hot and cold conflict over Ukraine reflects French aspirations for strategic autonomy. During the recent sanctions war between the US and EU, Hungary in Europe has exercised quite aggressive strategic autonomy in response to the US and EU’s policies that it believes are highly detrimental to its national interests. 

Even with the transatlantic alliance, Indians should consider the trends in Europe despite their scepticism about its strategic autonomy. Though the EU has strong political, economic and security bonds with the US, there is resistance within Europe to becoming America’s follower. 

Even as India strengthens its strategic ties with the US, it has the right to maintain its options so it can act based on its national interests rather than US geopolitical interests on issues related to its national security.

It is, therefore, correct that India has not sided with Europe or the US in the Ukraine conflict against Russia when our national interest does not lie there and when our objective reading of the right and wrong issues involved differs from that of the West. 

Strategic Autonomy Exercised By India Finds Resonance In Europe

However, it is ironic that while Europe is trying to maintain its strategic autonomy by not following the US on issues that do not align with our interests, it has been pressuring Russia to adhere to the Western approach at odds with our objective national interests. 

Throughout the Ukraine crisis, India has stood its ground on its ties with Russia, turning down false moral arguments and puerile advice. To deal with the energy deficit, we are purchasing discounted Russian oil, expanding trade with Russia, improving connectivity, and negotiating with Russia about Afghanistan. 

With our goal of leveraging all international platforms for political, security, and development needs, our membership of the SCO – which we chair and will host the summit this year – and BRICS is becoming increasingly important.

Meanwhile, we are expanding our ties with Japan, strengthening trade and technological ties with the West, and attending G7 meetings while deepening our cooperation within Quad. The Global South and our priorities are driving the discussions at the G20. 

Strategic Autonomy Exercised By India Finds Resonance In Europe

Our military conflict with China in the Himalayas continues, but we maintain communication. We need to internationalise our disagreements with it to sustain diplomatic manoeuvrability and complicate our bilateral options. Multipolarity is central to our strategic autonomy, which is necessary for a more balanced international system. 

As a reform, multipolarity would not be a break-up of the current system. Developing countries must have a stronger voice in international economic, political and financial governance, fostering more collective understandings regarding many of the international community’s challenges and preventing unilateralism from taking hold.

Nandana Valsan
Nandana Valsan
Nandana Valsan is a Journalist/Writer by profession and an 'India Book of Records holder from Kochi, Kerala. She is pursuing MBA and specializes in Journalism and Mass Communication. She’s best known for News Writings for both small and large Web News Media, Online Publications, Freelance writing, and so on. ‘True Love: A Fantasy Bond’ is her first published write-up as a co-author and 'Paradesi Synagogue: History, Tradition & Antiquity' is her second successful write-up in a book as a co-author in the National Record Anthology. She has won Millenia 15 Most Deserving Youth Award 2022 in the category of Writer. A lot of milestones are waiting for her to achieve. Being a Writer, her passion for helping readers in all aspects of today's digital era flows through in the expert industry coverage she provides.
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