India’s position in tensions in Ukraine

Over the past few months, the crisis on the border between Russia and Ukraine has been getting louder and louder, even in India. While Russian troops are converging on the border with Ukraine and the United States calling on the international community to position itself, India has yet to officially state which side it supports.

India abstains from UN Security Council on Ukraine

We have had to wait almost two months since the start of this crisis to finally hear a statement from the Government of India on the situation. After weeks of radio silence, India took the floor on January 28 to call for ” peaceful resolution of the situation through continued diplomatic efforts for long-term peace and stability in the region and beyond “.

Apart from this statement without taking a position, Indian diplomacy still recommends that its citizens (nearly 18,000 Indians living on Ukrainian soil) show vigilance and register with the embassy in kyiv when assistance is needed.

Following this announcement, the United States on Monday 1 February called for a meeting of the United Nations Security Council to discuss the situation in Ukraine, stating that the role of the Security Council is to prevent any fighting that threatens international peace and security. According to Security Council rules, a vote in the states must be arranged to decide whether to hold this type of interview. 9 positive votes are then required to start planning the appointment.

On the spot, India’s representatives on the Security Council once again emphasized the need for lasting peace in the region: “ It is in India’s interest to find a solution that allows for an immediate de-escalation of tensions, taking into account the legitimate security interests of all countries and aiming to ensure long-term peace and stability in the region and beyond.. Indian diplomacy failed and failed to mention the large number of Russian troops stationed on the Ukrainian border.

Finally, 10 countries voted for this meeting on the Security Council. China and Russia have positioned themselves against it. India was one of three countries that abstained.

India’s announcements and actions are reminiscent of the 2014 speech, following Russia’s annexation of Crimea. At the time, Shivshankar Menon, the national security adviser, simply announced that ” Russia has a legitimate interest in Crimea “.

India’s representative office to the United Nations

Why is India’s non-position on the Ukraine question?

For India, the situation is critical given its close relationship with Russia, but also the United States and the possible impact of the alliance between the two countries on other countries. In its position, the government thus seeks to remain neutral on the situation and hopes that the crisis can be resolved without consequences for India’s foreign policy.

Russian arms suppliers to India

On the one hand, Russia, in particular, is India’s main defense partner. More than 80% of Indian army weaponry and military equipment comes from this country. This is, for example, the case of the new S-400 air defense missile system, which India recently purchased from Russia.

Moreover, China’s position, which has openly supported Russia, complicates the regional situation for India. If the situation escalates, China will then support Russia and a Russia-Pakistan-China axis can be created, which will not be in India’s interest.

The United States represents China’s counter power in the Asia Pacific zone

On the other hand, the United States is participating in countering Chinese influence in this Asia-Pacific zone, serving India’s interests. If conflict broke out in Ukraine, the American presence in the region could be shifted and the balance could potentially benefit China.

Take part in rectangular oblige India to a certain neutrality

Finally, India’s place in the so-called “Quad” (Quadin Security Dialogue) within the framework of the strategic security dialogue between the United States and Australia, Japan and the United States, complicates India’s position towards its regional partners who maintain a fragile balance against China.

To this day, we are dealing with India pushing for an escalation of tensions, while being careful not to take a position on one side or the other and hoping the fragile balance forged by India’s diplomacy in the region is not affected. Continued…

Cheryl Tenny

"Thinker. Food advocate. Incurable coffee enthusiast. Communicator. Proud student. Zombie buff. Tv fanatic. Extreme troublemaker."

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