The South Asian powerhouse will not content itself with being merely an ally of the West.
India’s economic rise has validated its historical efforts to maintain a diverse set of foreign relations. Russia’s war in Ukraine is both an opportunity and a challenge for New Delhi’s foreign policy approach. While managing pressures from Western governments to help isolate Moscow, the Indians have also been trying to assert themselves on the world stage. The South Asian powerhouse will not content itself with being merely an ally of the West and instead will maintain its policy independence, with implications for the U.S.-Chinese rivalry.
New Delhi’s G-20 summit negotiator, Amitabh Kant, said on March 15 that the Kremlin’s war in Ukraine has diverted the world from more pressing global issues. Speaking to reporters, Kant said: “Europe cannot bring growth, poverty, global debt, all developmental issues to a standstill across the world. Can that one war bring the entire world to a standstill?” The Indian official called on the global community to “move on” and for Europe to “find a solution to its challenges.” These unusually strong remarks come on the heels of similar comments from Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, who said Europe needed to get out of the mindset that its problems are the world’s problems while the issues plaguing the international community are not of concern to the Europeans.
This is some extraordinarily tough language from India, particularly considering that it has avoided condemning the Russians for invading Ukraine. New Delhi has also sharply increased its oil imports from Moscow since the war began a little over a year ago. However, it is unclear why the world’s soon-to-be most populous nation chose to be so harshly critical of the Europeans.
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