Explained: What are India’s stakes in its ties with Ukraine and Russia?

What is the news?

India has given its first statement on the ongoing crisis between Russia and the West, led by the US over Ukraine.

India has called for a “peaceful resolution” of the situation through “sustained diplomatic efforts” for “long-term peace and stability” in the region and beyond.

Click Here to read about Russia-Ukraine Conflict in Brief

What is happening in Ukraine?

Ukraine has become a bone of contention in Russia’s relations with the Western countries.

Currently, Russian troops are near the border of Ukraine and NATO’s forces on standby in case Russia attacks Ukraine.

The crisis began when Russia told Western powers that it had a list of demands. Among the most important demand was that Ukraine should never be allowed to join NATO. The US and the West have ruled this out. Currently, the two sides are negotiating these demands in Paris, France.

Why is Russia doing this?

The New Yorker’s editor David Remnick, the Washington Post correspondent in Russia between 1987 and 1991, has written a book, Lenin’s Tomb: Last Days of the Soviet Empire, in which he quotes Vladimir Lenin as saying: “For us, to lose Ukraine would be to lose our head”. Hence, this has been the attitude of rulers in Russia over the centuries.

What is at stake for India?

India is concerned about Russia’s “muscle-flexing” and external intervention in national matters. But India does not want to jeopardize the close military ties with Russia. Almost 60% of India’s military supplies are Russian manufactured.

At the same time, the US and Europe are both important partners from India’s strategic calculus. Many American platforms have been used for reconnaissance and surveillance along the India-China border.

Another concern for India is the small Indian community in Ukraine, comprising mostly students in medical colleges. 

Source: This post is based on the article Explained: What are India’s stakes in its ties with Ukraine and Russia? published in The Indian Express on 31st Jan 2022.

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