Any escalation in Ukraine crisis would increase challenges for India, expert says

By Komal Sharma |
February 05, 2022 10:42 p.m. STI

New Delhi [India], Feb 5 (ANI): Amid Russian troop buildup along the border with Ukraine, an international relations expert says escalating tensions between Russia and Western countries will put pressure on Indian foreign policy priorities and New Delhi are struggling to balance all sides.
Harsh V Pant, program manager for strategic studies at the Observer Research Foundation, said India “didn’t really respond to the situation in Crimea in 2014”.
“Many in the West have argued that India has sided with Russia. I think that’s a similar policy that India could approach this year,” he said.
Pant said that if there was any significant aggression, voices would be raised asking India to criticize Russian policies.
He also said that Russia’s dependence on China will increase if the situation worsens.
“This scenario will also put pressure on Indian foreign policy which faces the challenge of China not just across the border but across various borders,” he said.
He said any conflict in Ukraine would put pressure on energy prices.
“And that will have an impact on the Indian economy which is just starting to recover from COVID. So I think there are several factors here that India will have to consider as the situation in Ukraine develops. “Pant said.
Moscow-based US political analyst Andrew Korybko said that if Russia’s national security red lines were breached, she would take action to defend her legitimate interests.
“If the United States continues to pressure Russia to the point of encouraging Kiev to provoke the previously described scenario for a further escalation of tensions, then India will gain more prominence for Russia as a non-Western counterweight. which also helps it preemptively avoid future disproportionate reliance on China,” he said.
“In the event that tensions are successfully defused by the United States by complying with all or most of Russia’s security guarantee proposals – ideally in writing but possibly informally as a temporary measure to defuse the crisis – then the “America will refocus most of its Eurasian efforts on seeking to contain China. In this scenario, Beijing could become more receptive to Delhi’s proposals aimed – as India would describe it – at defusing their own border, economic, financial, investment, technological and other,” he added.
Responding to a question about Russia’s expectations of India, Korybko said Moscow expects India to remain neutral and non-aligned in line with its grand strategy which was reaffirmed during the President Putin’s visit there in early December.
“It does not provide for Delhi to take anyone’s side, but pragmatically balances all sides in a way that does not come at anyone else’s expense.”
In the long term, the Moscow-based expert said, Russia seems genuinely interested in assembling and then jointly leading a new Non-Aligned Movement (“Neo-NAM”) with India to create a third “pole of influence in a bi-multipolar world”. world order”.
India last month called for an immediate de-escalation of tensions related to Ukraine and reiterated its support for a peaceful resolution of the issue for long-term peace and stability.
Speaking at a meeting on Ukraine at the United Nations Security Council, India’s permanent representative, TS Tirumurti, said last month that calm and constructive diplomacy was the need of the hour. . “Any measures that increase tension can best be avoided by all parties in the broader interest of ensuring international peace and security,” he said. (ANI)

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