In light of the External Affairs Minister’s recent visit to Russia, examine the role of India in the Russia-Ukraine crisis. How can India help improve the situation?

 

The visit of India’s external affairs minister, S Jaishankar, to Russia has sparked considerable international interest in the possibility of an intervention to end the nine-month-long war in Ukraine.

The minister for external affairs of India expressed strong support for discussion and diplomacy to bring about a return to peace and expressed worry without directly criticizing Russia.

India’s relationship with Russia:

  • Russia continues to be India’s largest and most reliable supplier of military weapons. 
  • With the S-400 air defence system, Russia has improved India’s ability to defend itself against China. 
  • BrahMos cruise missile development and Sukhoi Su-30MKI development are only a couple of the cooperative military projects between India and Russia. 
  • Russia has consistently backed India and is a dependable friend in the UN Security Council. 
  • In the area of nuclear energy use for peaceful purposes, Russia is a significant ally of India.

India’s relationship with the West:

  • The US, EU, and UK are all important allies, and India has a close relationship with each of them as well as with the rest of the West. 
  • In the UN Security Council, India has relied on France’s unwavering support on a number of issues. 
  • India has relied on assistance from the West as it contends with a combative China along the Line of Actual Control. 
  • The Quad (the United States, Australia, India, and Japan) has lately reached the summit level. 
  • The West has backed India’s efforts to limit Pakistan’s backing for cross-border terrorism.

Why India is a strong contender as a mediator:

  • India can play a neutral role since it has gained respect on both sides. 
  • With diplomatic intervention, India was able to stop the attack on the nuclear power plant in eastern Ukraine at Zaporizhzhia. 
  • India is considered as the Global South leader. 
  • India has favourable ties with both Russia and the West. 
  • India may exert pressure on Russia to halt its conflict in Ukraine using its special position of power.
  • India could be able to get a permanent seat on the UN Security Council through promoting peace.

Way forward:

India can play a role as a mediator, while maintaining balance and keeping in mind its national interest as first priority.

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