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12th May 2023 (6 Topics)

The problem with India’s multi-alignment stand

Context:

China’s recent mediation efforts to resolve the Ukraine crisis have once again spotlighted India’s approach to conflict resolution. 

Indian approach

  • Solidarity with Ukraine: In sharp contrast to the Chinese President Xi Jinping’s first outreach, Mr. Modi has spoken to Mr. Zelenskyy many times. Mr. Modi had expressed India’s solidarity with Ukraine.
  • Not an Era of war: Mr. Modi had publicly told Mr. Putin that “today’s era is not of war” — a remark that seemed to be a reprimand to Moscow.
  • Interactions with Russia: despite western criticism of India’s continued energy imports from Russia and export of excess refined Russian fuel to the European market.

Issues with Indian approach

  • Dented image: Ukraine’s Deputy Foreign Minister stated that the ‘Vishwa Guru’ image that the government seeks for the country will remain imperfect if India refuses to take a strong moral position on Russia’s violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty.
  • Lack of Hard power: India lacks hard power has been acknowledged by Mohan Bhagwat, chief of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. He had said that if India had been adequately powerful, it would have stopped the Ukraine war. 
  • No clear stand: While New Delhi has expressed its disapproval of the Ukraine war, it has avoided taking a clear position in many UN resolutions on the issue. 
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