The Russia-Ukraine war has had tumultuous effects globally. It has severely affected the world economy, world peace, and international diplomacy.
It has led to several sanctions being imposed on Russia by the West, who see this sudden attack as unwarranted, unnecessary, and illegal. This in turn has put some strain on trade relationships with Russia of countries not necessarily from the West, such as India.
However, India has stood strong in its independence from Western pressure and continues to act in the interest of her citizens. Some bleed-over effects, however, are inevitable and have been highlighted below.
It is important to note that India is one of the few countries that hasn’t denounced the Russian invasion of Ukraine. It has maintained that the situation in question must be resolved through diplomacy and dialogue.
President Putin (RUS) and PM Modi (IND)
Speaking about the sanctions, recently, senior Russian officials stated that the stringent sanctions of the west have disrupted economic relations between Russia and India affecting specifically the “transaction mechanisms” and “logistics mechanisms”. But he also stated that there is an agreement between India and Russia on the existence of these issues and related clarity on remedial measures.
The crux of the fact is that India is world’s third largest oil-consuming and oil-importing nation. As of 2023, it imports nearabout 85% of its crude oil needs. The imposition of the sanctions on the West has had catastrophic effects on the use of Russian energy. This has led to Russia offering discounts to India, which remains a prominent importer of Russian oil.
However, the sanctions have led to Russian banks being unable to carry out transactions. India at the time of writing has been unable to find an alternative workaround method to carry out purchases. Previously, it had used banks in Singapore, but this time Singapore too is in on the sanctions, meaning these banks cannot be used.
While India remains keen on Russian oil, a similar story cannot be seen in regards to arms. Since the start of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, India has severely reduced usage of Russian weapons. Doing business with Russia has proven to be difficulty-ridden for India, who would rather diversify their military equipment sources. The West is leading this charge.
As a conclusion, I would like to talk about the possible reasons of India’s abstinence from taking an outright stand in the conflict. This can be attributed to its long-standing culture of neutrality, its priorities of confronting China, reliance on Russian technology and oil. An often-overlooked reason is the phenomenon of not bending down to the west playing well domestically in India.
India, to show its neutrality has gone as far as to remain neutral in a major UN resolution for Russia to withdraw from Ukraine, which was signed by 141 nation-states across the world.
Note: I have taken the photographs/illustrations from internet. They belong to the author/photographer/designer of the original article/s.