The India-President’s Call for an Instant Cessation of Hostile War and Thanking the United Nations for Humanitarian Aid
Zelensky said that he is counting on India’s participation in the implementation of the peace formula. I thanked the UN for humanitarian aid.
The call comes as New Delhi seeks to boost trade ties with Moscow after becoming one of the largest purchasers of Russian oil – defying Western sanctions and providing a vital financial lifeline to Russian President Vladimir Putin as the Kremlin wages an unprovoked war against its neighbor.
In a statement following the call, the Indian government said Modi had repeated his calls “for an immediate cessation of hostilities” and to “revert to dialogue and diplomacy.”
Zelensky presented a 10-point peace formula to world leaders at the Group of 20 summit in Bali, Indonesia, in November. The G20 presidency will be held by India until next year.
“The Prime Minister explained the main priorities of India’s G20 Presidency, including giving a voice to the concerns of developing nations on issues like food and energy security,” New Delhi’s statement said.
Modi didn’t condemn Russia’s attacks in Ukraine but called for a cease-fire. Some of his political opponents say that he doesn’t go far enough and point toward India’s actions rather than its words.
Modi was also thought to be a key player in the G20’s decision to issue a joint declaration condemning Russia’s war in Ukraine “in the strongest terms.”
India, a nation of 1.3 billion, said that its decision to increase purchases of Russian energy is to protect its interests as a country where incomes are not high.
Russia sent India a list of more than 500 products for potential delivery last month, according to Reuters, including parts of cars, aircraft and trains.
India’s largest weapons dealer in the past 30 years — a counterexample to the India-US relationship after the 1947–1919 Ukraine war
State media says that Putin is ready to negotiate about acceptable solutions for the war in Ukraine. In response, a Zelensky adviser said Moscow “doesn’t want negotiations, but tries to avoid responsibility” as it continues to attack civilians.
MUMBAI — In the year since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Western democracies have condemned Moscow, slapped wide-ranging sanctions on it, cut back on Russian oil and gas and sent unprecedented amounts of arms and ammunition to help Ukraine defend itself.
Despite the Indian government’s efforts to diversify, Moscow continues to be India’s biggest arms dealer — more than 30 years after the disintegration of the Soviet Union. Russia has supplied billions of dollars in weapons to India in the past five years.
Russia opened its first Consulate in India in 1900, despite the fact the country was still under British rule. During the Cold War, relations took off.
In the midst of India getting independence from the British, it started out as a way of showing sympathy for the Soviet Union. A political scientist at the Observer Research Foundation in New Delhi calls it an anti-colonial experience. The Cold War became anti-west and anti U.S. as it picked up.
The cold war ended but that didn’t change anything. Neither has the Ukraine war. India’s nationalist TV news channels often accuse the United States of doing more to ruin Ukraine than Russia.
In November, Modi’s top diplomat, S. Jaishankar, traveled to Moscow, where he stood alongside his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov and called their countries’ relationship “steady and time-tested.”
The actions that India has taken so far do not represent any remorse or even mild criticism of the events in Ukraine, according to a political economist affiliated with the opposition Indian National Congress party. It seems to aid and abet.
Last year, India’s economy became the fifth-largest in the world, surpassing that of its former colonial occupier, Britain. India is expected to replace China as the world’s most populous country any day now. Some say it’s already happened. The world’s biggest economies are all expecting growth this year to be the strongest.
It’s third largest oil consumer. It needs more growth to fuel it. Because of its limited oil and gas reserves, most of India’s needs have to be imported. It is a poor country that is sensitive to price.
Indian officials have defended those purchases by saying it’s their job to find bargains for their citizens. Jaishankar, the foreign minister, thinks it’s hypocritical of wealthier Westerners to ask them not to.
“Europe has managed to reduce its imports [of Russian gas] while doing it in a manner that is comfortable,” Jaishankar told an Austrian TV channel last month. You’re so caring about your population if you have a per capita income of 60,000 euros. I have a population at 2,000 dollars [per capita annual income]. I also need energy, and I am not in a position to pay high prices for oil.”
In the month of November, an American diplomat said that the US is comfortable with India’s approach on Russian oil. And Karen Donfried, the assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian Affairs, said the U.S. is not looking at sanctioning India for this.
“U.S treasury officials have two main goals, one of which is to keep the market well supplied, and the other, which is to deprive Russia of oil revenue,” a senior fellow at the Washingtonbased Center for Strategic and International Studies said recently. The Chinese and Indian companies know they can make bigger gains by buying Russian crude and exporting products at market prices. They’re fine with that.”
What India’s Foreign Policy Preoccupation is Founded on: When Russia and China Meteorized the Fall of the Russian Tanks in Ukraine
Russian and Soviet weapons have been used by India’s military. The majority of those contracts were made during the Cold War, when India was officially non-aligned but close to Moscow. India’s arsenal is still Soviet-made.
Let’s just go to the Indian Air Force. Most of those Sukhois and MiGs [fighter aircraft] are referred to as ‘flying coffins.’ Very often Indian pilots die when they are testing, or flying, those,” says Aparna Pande, a political scientist at the Hudson Institute in Washington. India knows that they need to be replaced.
Pande says that Indian defense experts may be the only ones who weren’t surprised by the fall of the Russian tanks in Ukraine. They’ve been unhappy with Russian equipment for years.
“Let’s say my entire apartment had only IKEA furniture, and now I decide, ‘OK now I want to change it, and I want West Elm.’ I cannot just replace one chair. I have to change my entire dining table and all the chairs,” Pande explains. In terms of updated weapons, what India has done is piecemeal. But those big ticket items are still Russian-made. So that’s the change which has to happen, and this is what will reduce the Russian influence.”
India’s foreign policy preoccupation isn’t Russia or Ukraine. It’s China. The two countries share a more than 2,000-mile disputed border. Satellite imagery shows that there may be a Chinese invasion of Indian territory. Soldiers clashed there in June 2020, and again this past December.
Biden administration officials said they understand why India didn’t condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and they’re willing to allow India a wide berth if Washington dislikes it.
Three of India’s neighbors — Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh — are seeking urgent loans from the International Monetary Fund, as developing countries in particular struggle with rising global fuel and food prices.
G-20 Finance and Security in New Delhi: Predictions from India and the United States, Russia, Asia, and Australia – and Embeddings
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and their Chinese counterpart, Qin Gang, are all expected to attend the two-day meeting in New Delhi.
Western delegates denounced the war in Kosovo at the previous G-20 foreign ministers’ meeting in Indonesia, causing Lavrov to walk out. Last April, at another G-20 meeting, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and representatives from other Western nations walked out when Russia spoke.
Indonesia was the G-20 presidency last year, but Brazil will take the role in the future. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government wants to bill it as a personal achievement for him as he runs for reelection next year.
Billboards with Modi’s face and India’s G-20 logo — which is very similar to Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party’s own logo — have gone up across India. There have been flower boxes on the highway flyovers in Mumbai and New Delhi. Lampposts got a fresh coat of paint.
Russian officials were accused of beingcomplicit in atrocities in Ukraine and the damage they caused at the same G-20 finance ministers’ meeting last week.
The meeting ended without a joint statement being issued. Analysts do not believe that this week’s foreign ministers’ meeting will end differently.