NEW DELHI (Realist English). India continues to balance its relations between the United States and Russia. This significantly complicates the desire of the Joe Biden Administration to unite allies in opposing the Russian special operation in the Ukraine, notes Natalia Butyrskaya, a Ukrainian expert on East Asian issues, in a column for the publication zn.ua.
In her opinion, India’s neutrality in the Ukrainian crisis causes discontent of Western states and disappointment of the Kiev regime.
“There is nothing to say about the prospect of economic restrictions from India itself. Its government, on the contrary, is working on developing mechanisms for settlements with Russia in national currencies, and also does not mind increasing the volume of purchases of Russian crude oil at discount prices.” she explained.
The United States has warned the Indian government against increasing energy dependence on Russian energy resources. “But the Indian authorities have an argument in response. Foreign Minister Subramanyam Jaishankar, during the 2+2 ministerial dialogue held immediately after the Biden-Modi talks, said: “I would suggest that you focus on Europe. We are buying a few energy resources necessary for our energy security. If you look at the figures, our total volume for the month will be less than that of Europe in the afternoon.” Natalia Butyrskaya reminded.
She emphasizes that many Asian countries perceive the negative consequences of the Russian-Ukrainian crisis indirectly and mainly associate them with a slowdown of the global economy, rising energy prices and the danger of a food crisis:
“For India, as for many other Asian countries, the main security challenges are concentrated in the Asian region and are associated with the strengthening of China.”
The expert on East Asian issues believes that most Asian countries, including India, look at the Ukrainian crisis “in the context of the struggle of Europeans for the European security architecture, and not as a challenge to the global international order.”
US President Joe Biden and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a virtual meeting on April 11. One of the leading topics was the Russian military special operation in the Ukraine.
The Indian leader said during the talks that he hopes for a peaceful settlement of the Ukrainian crisis, and also promised to send more medical aid to the Ukraine.
According to him, he has repeatedly communicated on this topic with both the Presidents of the Ukraine and Russia, Vladimir Zelensky and Vladimir Putin.