As Ukraine changes the world order, India should review its ties with Russia and America
While Russia’s invasion of Ukraine changes the certainties of the existing world order, India’s national interest has led it to refrain from naming and humiliating, because, to quote the Foreign Minister Jaishankar, Russia is a “very important partner”. That doesn’t take away from America’s importance as India’s global strategic partner, regardless of their differences on Ukraine, trade, etc. But Russia’s aggression is changing the international order in a way that will prompt India to look beyond the abstentions and reconsider its ties with America and Russia. Because, in February, Russia invaded a sovereign state that borders four NATO countries.
Since then, America, India’s Quad partner and main counterforce to an expansionist China in Asia, has deployed more troops in Europe and is now on high alert simultaneously on its European front lines. and Asians. He wants the support of friends, including India, and allies on both fronts. As Moscow raises the bar by declaring the start of World War III, terrified European countries, unable to defend themselves against an aggressive Russia, are reminded of their military dependence on America and want her to put down its strategic and economic weight behind the preservation of international law.
Unsurprisingly, Washington’s anti-Russian sanctions aim to create “a new kind of economic government with the power to inflict damage that rivals military might”; “impose significant costs” on Russian arms production companies and prevent them from resuming their activities. Indian companies trading with Russian defense suppliers could find themselves locked out of the global dollar-based financial system. India depends on Russia for more than 60% of its armaments, including tanks, submarines and guns. But in late March, reports surfaced that lack of components had halted tank manufacturing in Russia. How will this affect a major Russian defense export to India?
On another level, India could face sanctions for buying the S-400 missile from Russia.
Russia’s arms problems could also create an unprecedented diplomatic and political complication for India. Waging an unexpectedly long war in Ukraine, Russia asked China, its second largest arms buyer (after India), to supply military equipment, including trucks! Whatever the outcome of the conflict, the inefficient and war-weary Russian economy will become increasingly dependent on China, which alone has the means to pick up the pieces.
This could sound alarm bells for India. China and Russia have hailed his “neutrality” at the UN because they dislike the Quad and want to drive a wedge between Washington and New Delhi. India must therefore look beyond the abstentions it pleases and strategize to deal with their divisive machinations.
Bilaterally, America, which is currently India’s third-largest arms retailer (after Russia and France), will help India replace Russian weapons – and give much more that has value. sustainable. If people of Indian descent thrive in Silicon Valley, it’s because a democratic and open United States prides itself on being a nation of immigrants. There are over 200,000 Indian students in America and its Indian diaspora numbers over 4 million. According to the Indian Embassy in Moscow, there are 14,000 Indians in Russia.
In 2020, remittances from Indians to the United States amounted to $83 billion, making India the top recipient of money from there. This was at least 10 times more than the value of bilateral Indo-Russian trade, which stood at $8.1 billion in the fiscal year April 2020 to March 2021. America buys 18% of India’s exports, Russia barely 0.85%. Russia is the source of 1.5% of India’s imports, America 7.3%.
The United States invested $45.9 billion in 2019 and $13.82 billion in 2020-21. Russia invested $1.26 billion from April 2000 to June 2021.
If India is to be innovative on a global scale, partnerships with leading US technology institutions and companies will be necessary. At the military-political level, since 2020, America has provided intelligence on Chinese troop movements on the Line of Effective Control. Russia and America favor a bilateral solution to the Sino-Indian border dispute. But Washington – including the Senate – supported India’s territorial integrity. In contrast, last December Putin endorsed the link between China’s economic prowess and military might and asked, “Why should we follow third country interests in building our policy?” This implies that Russia cares no less if China violates the territorial sovereignty of India or any other country.
Despite America’s disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan, its global strategic, technological and economic weight is far greater than that of China or Russia. This is very important for India, which will turn to the United States in the event of a strategic crisis against China. China’s GDP is six times lower than that of the United States and its defense spends three times less. The high cost of “Ukraine” could precipitate the collapse of the already faltering Russian economy.
No country organizes its foreign policy to serve the interests of another state. India has the right to refuse to align itself with America against Russia. He also canceled some orders for Russian equipment to promote the indigenization of arms manufacturing. But the diversification of arms imports must go forward.
All told, America — rather than Russia — can give him more trouble and soft power to advance the progress needed to deal with the problematic new world created by the war in Ukraine. By keeping its options open and accurately assessing the value of its relationship, India should reshape its ties with Russia and America.
This article was first published in the Deccan Herald on April 28, 2022