Russian offensive in Ukraine: Which side is India on? | Opinion

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The day the invasion of Ukraine began, Putin received Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan in Moscow. The fact, apparently an unlucky coincidence, did not go unnoticed in India. Pakistan, a nemesis since the partition of 1947, represents, together with China, the main challenge for the country’s territorial security. Last week, Chinese authorities surprised India by proposing an unexpected visit by Foreign Minister Wang Yi at the end of the month.

There has been much speculation about the causes that have led New Delhi to abstain from United Nations resolutions against Russia. Which side is India on? “We are on our side,” Pankaj Saran, former Indian ambassador to Russia, responded when asked, according to a report. New York Times.

The close relationship between India and Russia goes back a long way. During the Cold War, Nehru, the biased leader of the non-alignment movement, and later his daughter Indira, looked to Russia for a counterweight to China, the United States and Pakistan. In addition to being the main supplier of arms, Moscow has repeatedly vetoed resolutions on Kashmir in the UN Security Council. And, although it is true that after the end of the Cold War, India began a rapprochement with the United States that culminated in joining the Quad, it did so without weakening its relationship with Russia. This flexible multi-alignment, which basically is a non-alignment of good times, is explained by the skill of Indian diplomacy, capable of compartmentalizing relations with antagonistic countries without generating conflicts of loyalty, as is the case with Israel and Iran, in addition of the mentioned. Without expansionist territorial aspirations or pretensions to change the world order, India is not perceived as an international political threat.

While we are following the war in Ukraine with horror, Asia is the protagonist of tenuous but significant geopolitical movements, such as the visits of Khan and Wang Yi. The joint statement by Xi Jinping and Putin in February includes the main lines of a Sino-Russian strategic compass: merge their respective areas of influence, strengthen the presence in Eurasia and the Indo-Pacific and prevent the US presence in the region. A formidable coalition that encompasses the continental and oceanic dimensions, the theses of Mackinder and Spykman. In this context, India stands out as a key player. This is demonstrated by the call to strengthen Russia-India-China cooperation in the joint statement. Given the good harmony between Russia and India, China and Pakistan, it would be a matter of taking advantage of the cross synergies to iron out differences. The war in Ukraine propitiates a global realignment that is evident in Asia. Because of its nonaligned nature, in a post-Cold War context, India has been able to compartmentalize its power equations. In the new scenario, you will have to decide which way you want to lean. @evabor3

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