Article: Russia-Ukraine crisis brought international isolation for India

Farid Ullah Khan

India’s decision to reject UN Security Council resolution and to abstain from voting on UNHCR resolution against Russia resulted in considerable worldwide criticism and isolation for India, which came at a time when she was attempting to become a permanent member of the UN Security Council.

Following Russia’s actions against Ukraine the UN Human Rights Council wants to form an independent international commission of inquiry and in this regard on March 2, UN General Assembly voted to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Abstention by 35 countries was perceived as an expression of support for the Russian invasion by Western media outlets. Abstaining countries have received a barrage of criticism. However, with reference to the CAATSA waiver on the S-400 contract, agreements with the Quad Alliance, consensus with the US/West to confront China in the Indo-Pacific and reliance on Russian military hardware, the focus of western media criticism remained on India. Even US President Biden, replying to a question on India’s support for the US against Russia during a press conference prior of the UN Security Council vote, stated that “Washington is still in unresolved consultations with India.”

It is evident from the regional and international history that, the Indian establishment has persuaded the United States and its allies that India is not just a counterweight to China but also a reliable strategic partner on the global arena. However, when the US needed India the most, India took a position that harmed US interests.

In addition to that acquisition of Russia’s S-400 air defence system by India has further enraged Washington, putting it at risk of US sanctions under a 2017 bill aimed at discouraging countries from purchasing Russian military hardware.

India’s duplicity has now well judged by United States, realizing that India on one side assuring it of her support against China and on the other hand is expanding its defence connections with the Russia. This dual standard of policy on part of India is now interpreted in Washington in a right direction that India is no more a trustworthy ally. Ignoring India in the military alliance ‘AUKUS’ between Washington, Canberra and London is one of the examples.

In the recent past the world has witnessed that how EU Disinfo lab exposed the India for her dirty tactics of spreading fake news and propaganda through fake websites and reports across the globe. Since, then the US administration had also been observed as more cautious about its relationship with India. However, the Indian lobby is still active in United States to make hollow claims of being Asian tiger and a most reliable ally of US in the region.

It is high time for the US and Western countries to think that any country that lacks universal fairness, rule of law, justice for all and equal opportunity for all citizens, having widening rich-poor divide, religious fault lines and dictatorial practices left the country vulnerable to economic collapse and it cannot become a global economic powerhouse. Moreover, this economic collapse will also put at risk the Western investments.

Secondly, it is a fact that when it comes to China, the Indian military is no match hence it would not risk a conflict with China on behalf of the United States. Following India’s devastating defeats in the 1962 Sino-Indian conflict and the 2020 Doklam border standoff, the rusty Indian army would not dare to face the modern Chinese People’s Liberation Army.

Thirdly, it is pertinent to mention here that although 60% of New Delhi’s arsenal is still of Soviet or Russian origin, Moscow no longer backs New Delhi on a variety of foreign-policy and security concerns. Russia has recently developed a close relationship with China and has made overtures to Pakistan. The arms deals are now completely commercial, with New Delhi free to buy weapons on the open market in the future. Despite India’s abstention from voting against Russia, the Russian embassy’s criticism of Indian media coverage of Ukraine, describing it as “biased and misleading,” underlines Russia’s displeasure with India’s duplicity.

Fourthly, when faced with difficult decisions on the international stage, India’s diplomatic approach of dodging may have reached its limit and the United States and other partners may not be willing to give India a pass permanently and overlook its reaction to the current crisis.

Fifthly, in India, there are several sane voices that are also against the country’s military reliance on Russia and Modi-led government’s reaction to the crisis pushing the country to in an embarrassing situation at regional and international fronts.

Keeping in view all the said facts finally, it can easily be assessed that India would also lose the Western support especially United States’ backing to become a permanent member of UN Security Council realizing that they are betting on the wrong horse (India) that badly failed to demonstrate that it is capable of making costly decision that contribute to global peace and security.