Where does India stand on the Russia-Ukraine crisis? The current situation will prove to be a test for diplomacy
Russia-Ukraine War: The ongoing crisis between Russia and Ukraine is getting deeper. The Russian army is present at some distance from Kiev and now efforts have intensified to rescue the Indians trapped in Ukraine. This crisis is like a test for India’s diplomacy.
- India with America or Russia?
- Both countries provided help to India
- Sino-Pak eye on India’s stand
New Delhi: There is no prospect of a quick resolution of the current Ukraine crisis. Russia is not ready to give in to any pressure and the US-NATO countries are considering the next course of action. In this entire crisis, a big diplomatic question can arise in front of India that if it had to choose between Russia and America.
- Russia and America have been helpful
This selection was different in the two wars fought by India. Russia was neutral in the 1962 war but America had provided all help to India against China. In 1971, when America openly supported Pakistan, Russia came forward to stop the American fleet. But this time this election will be a test of Indian diplomacy.
India has a historical strategic relationship with the Soviet Union. Russia had helped India in the defense sector when it was not getting help from most countries. In the 60s, the MiG-21 agreement gave the Indian Air Force the first supersonic jet, which is still being used in the Air Force. Weapons like battle tanks, artillery, warships, large cargo aircraft, nuclear submarines made India strong. Even today, 60 to 70 percent of the military equipment of the Indian Army is Russian in origin. But after the 2000s, the period of strengthening of defense relations between India and America began.
- America has given modern weapons
India has made big deals with the US like P8I reconnaissance aircraft, large cargo aircraft like C-17 and C130J Super Hercules, Apache attack helicopters, Chinook cargo helicopters. But the biggest turning point came when India made important defense agreements with America like Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA), Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) and Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA).
Of these, India got the data of American satellites in BECA, which was very useful during the ongoing tension with China in South Ladakh. In COMCASA, the armies of India and America can be in direct contact with each other, which is very important in both war and peace situations. The most special is LEMOA, under which the armies of both countries can use each other’s army-air force and naval bases for their logistics supply, repair or improvement of weapons. During the tension in Ladakh, the US had sent 35000 winter wear special clothes for Indian soldiers in 2020, which were very effective in the temperature of -50 degrees.
- never trusted blindly
America and India have also raised a common front against China. America knows that it needs India a lot in action against China and India knows that Russia’s help against China is unlikely, so the common interests of both the countries have raised this front. This is why the Indo-US joint naval exercise Malabar has become very important and Australia and Japan have also joined it.
Both countries are also together in the fight against terror and American intelligence has helped India many times. The joint military exercise between India and America is also reaching a new level. But India never blindly followed the instructions of America in the matter of foreign relations. In 2018, despite strong opposition from the US, India struck deals with Russia for S-400, frigates and AK 203 rifles by defying the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) sanctions.
- India’s enemies are ambushed
It will be difficult to decide this time. After the defense agreement made with America, India is legally bound to help it. That is, tomorrow if America wants to use Indian airbases or naval bases to attack Russia, then it can. But if this happens, then India will clearly come in the anti-Russian camp and this is expected to happen by both the arch enemies of India, China and Pakistan.
Imran Khan visited Russia at the same time when Russia started its crackdown on Ukraine. By opening the doors of wheat procurement for Russia, China has indicated to the whole world that it is openly with Russia. That is, if Indian diplomacy decides to go with America, then a new front will be prepared against it in which there will be Russia-Pakistan-China. This will be a very dangerous situation for India and given the history of America, facing this front on its trust would be like suicide.