India’s stand on Ukraine is shaped by its national interest

News: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s phone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin underlined that India will for now stick to a path of strategic ambivalence on the Ukraine crisis.

Why India should maintain strategic ambivalence on the Ukraine crisis?

All the stakeholders are equally important for India. For instance,

Russia remains India’s biggest and time-tested supplier of military hardware. At the height of the crisis with China in Ladakh, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh traveled to Moscow to ensure that there would be no cut-back in military supplies.

Russia has boosted India’s defense capability against China with the S-400 air defence system.

Russia is also a reliable ally in the UN Security Council. India-Russia ties have ensured that India was not entirely left out of the conversation on Afghanistan, and in Central Asia, while also providing some leverage with the US.

At the same time, the US, the European Union, and the UK are all vital partners, and India’s relations with each of them are very important.

Moreover, in the UNSC, France had backed India on many issues.

India was also relied on western support to deal with an aggressive China on the Line of Actual Control.

Further, distance from the theatre of conflict no longer insulates any country from its effects. India’s economy has already felt the shock of this “regional” conflict. For example, the ongoing evacuation of thousands of students.

What is the way forward for India?

India must talk continually to all sides, and engage with all of its partners, keeping in mind that there is no justification for the violation of any country’s territorial sovereignty. The best course is for all parties to step back and focus on preventing all-out war.

Source: This post is based on the article “India’s stand on Ukraine is shaped by its national interest. It should continue to do so — with us or against us doesn’t workpublished in Indian Express on 26th Feb 2022.

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