The Democracy Turning Its Back on Ukraine
Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan considers why India has abstained in all four major UN votes regarding the Russian invasion of Ukraine in the Atlantic. India has declined to support Ukraine and has not joined in the condemnation of Moscow, as many of its allies have. Similarly, the Indian public has not protested against the invasion. Rajagopalan connects the Indian strategic empathy towards Russia to its colonial heritage, which has left strong an understandable anti-Western sentiment in the country, and Soviet assistance offered to India in the 1960s and 1970s. India is also deeply dependent on Russian weapons. Despite an imperfect relationship with Russia and recent efforts to build a closer partnership with the US and other Western allies, India does not want to entirely turn its back on Russia, and New Dehli will continue to engage in a delicate balancing act of its global interests. The author contends that this policy will slowly change as a result of growing strategic dissonance between India and Russia, as Russia may find itself more beholden to Chinese influence and questions are raised about India's vulnerability to Russia.