At a critical crossroads in history, the entire world is watching India. The Russian-Ukraine conflict is already in its 38th day, and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi on Friday. Modi informed Lavrov that India was willing to help in whatever way to bring Russia and Ukraine closer together. Modi had received a special message from Russian President Vladimir Putin, delivered by Lavrov.
While Russia wants India to act as a mediator in the Ukraine conflict, the United States wants India to distance itself from Russia and join the Western alliance in resisting Putin. India should also support European countries battling the Russian invasion, according to Britain.
China’s foreign minister, Wang Yi, paid a surprise visit to Delhi and expressed his desire for peace. Imran Khan, the embattled Prime Minister of Pakistan, has consistently praised India’s “independent” foreign policy and has stated that his own country, like India, should not be subjected to external pressure.
“Indian foreign policy are distinguished by independence and the concentrate on true national legitimate interests,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in Delhi.
We are willing to talk about everything India wants to buy from Russia.”
Lavrov’s remarks follow controversial remarks by US Deputy National Security Adviser for International Economics, Daleep Singh, about India, Russia, and China. “The more power that China gains over Russia, the less beneficial that is for India,” Daleep Singh, the Biden administration’s lead person on international sanctions, told reporters in Delhi after meeting Indian Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla.
I don’t believe anyone believes that if China violates the Line of Actual Control again, Russia will rush to India’s defence.” Such remarks are not only considered impolite in diplomatic settings, but they are also seen as a direct threat.
When External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar met with Lavrov on Friday, who also paid a visit to Prime Minister Modi, India conveyed a strong message to the US. This could not be a more powerful statement in diplomatic language and nuances.
India’s message was clear: in terms of foreign policy, we will not be bullied. “We will neither look up at anyone, nor will we lower our eyes while greeting anyone,” PM Modi said. We’ll face each other in the eyes and say.”
By linking the Russian-Ukraine crisis to the India-China border issue, America attempted to build dread in India’s mind about future Chinese violation on the LAC. The American official most likely forgot that India is not Ukraine, and China is well aware of this.
It would be preferable if the US recognised this as well. The vision, aim, and policies of Prime Minister Modi are crystal apparent. India will act solely for its own benefit and will not be influenced by other forces.
The American deputy NSA who made the remarks most likely expected India to be intimidated and abandon its friendship with Russia, but India stood firm. “We would be ready to deliver any items that India wishes to buy,” the Russian FM said of the oil deal with India. I have no doubt that a solution to get beyond the artificial hurdles erected by the West through the imposition of illegal and unilateral sanctions will be discovered.”
India is the world’s third-largest oil importer and user, and it has been purchasing Russian oil via spot tenders since the Russian-Ukrainian conflict began on February 24. Since then, India has purchased at least 13 million barrels of Russian oil at a significant discount, compared to the 16 million barrels it imported from Russia in the entire year of 2021.
While US and Western sanctions against Russia do not ban other countries from buying Russian oil, a senior US administration official recently stated that “India could be exposing itself to great risk if there is a large increase in Russian oil procurement…
The United States has no objection to India buying Russian oil providing it does so at a bargain and does not significantly increase its imports over previous years.”
Because of US and Western sanctions, Russia wants to increase its bilateral trade with India. On Friday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stated that Russia is considering conducting ruble-rupee trading with India in order to circumvent Western sanctions. He claims that the ruble-rupee trade with India has been going on for years, and that efforts to circumvent western payment systems would now be ramped up.
To summarise, India’s foreign policy will be guided by its national interests. Bullying or browbeating from outside sources will not work. India, for its part, has told Russia that an early cease-fire in Ukraine will aid in the restoration of peace. “India is an important country,” Lavrov said, “and if India wants to play a part in resolving the (Ukraine) problem, it can.”
India has taken a just and rational attitude to international issues, and it is capable of supporting such (peace) efforts.”