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    OpinionsIndia pursues its hardcore objectives in Modi-Putin summit in Moscow

    India pursues its hardcore objectives in Modi-Putin summit in Moscow


    By Anjan Roy

    For the last two years, has been riding on two horses diplomatically: while befriending the West, particularly the USA, the Indian moves have also placated Russia in the face of its unilateral aggression against Ukraine in February 2022..

    The West had so far turned its face away from Indian movies which were indirectly supporting Russia. However, the Indian prime minister's hug of the Russian president on July 9 the same day that the US president Joe Biden hosted the summit of NATO leaders in Washington has proved to be the last straw on the camel's back.

    The western bloc was seeking to highlight Russia's isolation and Indian embrace of Russia had contradicted that straight in view. All said and done, India is the largest democracy and its support to Russia was for all to see.

    The Indian hug also happened to be the day after Russia hit a children's hospital in Ukraine capital and missile raids which had killed close to 40 people in a day,, apart from scores of those injured. It looked as though India was condoning the Russian strike on a children's hospital.

    The train of events seems to have compelled the prime minister to categorically come out against the attack on children's hospitals. He had candidly stated that death and suffering of innocent children was painful.

    India continued to purchase oil at a discounted price from Russia, despite the western bloc's efforts to isolate Russia diplomatically, Indian and Chinese purchase of Russian oil had buoyed up the Russia and helped it its war against Ukraine.

    What was the significance of such displays of bonhomie amidst principled opposition to Russian war in Ukraine.

    India pursued its power diplomacy as prime minister Narendra Modi hugged Russian president Vladimir Putin before their talks in Moscow in the face of strident criticism of the Indian move by Ukrainian president Volodomyr Zelensky, and western efforts of isolating Russia and Putin.

    Ukrainian president Zelensky has criticised India in the strongest terms, stating that it was painful to see the 's largest democracy to hug the world's worst “criminal and autocrat”.

    On grounds of principles, a visit by the Indian prime minister to Russia under the current circumstances could scarcely be defended .. After all, Russia had invaded a sovereign country and was still running a battle on its grounds.

    India fully endorses and supports the UN charter for respect of sovereignty of countries and their territorial integrity. India also opposes all such aggressions into other territories.

    However, there are very strong diplomatic and realpolitik objectives for India to cultivate its traditional warm relations with Russia. Nevertheless, India had to assert its independent foreign policy stances as well.

    India made it plain that it did not support the Russian bid to usurp Ukrainian soil launching a bitter war. Reiterating its previous stand that diplomacy and talks and not war was more needed in the present times, India had urged the Russian president to end his war in Ukraine.

    The India-Russia meet was in pursuit of India's long-standing and abiding interests in building a stable relationship with Russia. India got discounted oil from Russia at the height of global energy market turmoil following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

    India's interests were further in obtaining supplies of weapons systems from Russia, as traditionally Russia has been the principal supplier of military hardware when the western countries had denied it to India. Lately, of course, India has diversified its procurement of military hardware.

    India therefore had vital interests in meeting the Russian leader, just as for Putin an Indian prime ministerial visit showed the west that it was not as isolated and cut off from the comity of nations as they would like to see.

    Except for China, Russia did not have any other country playing for its acceptance globally. Besides, a judgement of the International Criminal Court slamming an arrest order against Vladimir Putin has virtually stopped his movements outside of his country.

    However, the circumstances around the current visit got further complicated and made piquant for India and Modi as on the day of his arrival in Moscow, Russia had pounded a children's hospital in the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, resulting in deaths of children at the hospital.

    In a release of the meeting read-out, the Indian side made it plain that the prime minister had expressed his deep anguish and pain over the news of deaths of children. He said it always hurts when children are suffering in war and terrorist attacks.

    Prime minister Modi had also underlined the cause of India citizens who have been duped into serving in the Russian army and fighting on the ground in battles in Ukraine. Russian president Putin has agreed to repatriate the Indian trapped into serving in the Russian army.




    The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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