Lisa Cartis, who was at the top post under the regime of former US President Donald Trump, has said if New Delhi does not rectify the “mistakes” committed on Ukraine, it will be difficult for the two countries to expand defense and security ties beyond a certain threshold. Lisa Curtis was the officer who was working as a link between India and America during the Trump administration. However, yesterday in the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) voting on the proposal to remove Russia from the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) which was being seen as a litmus test for India, India stood firm on its earlier stand and abstained from voting along with Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and others.

Curtis, who is now a Senior Fellow and Director of the Indo-Pacific Security Program at the Center for a New American Security Think Tank. She says that America’s hopes about India were dashed with Russia’s attack on Ukraine on February 24. On India’s stand on the Russo-Ukraine war, Lisa Curtis said, ‘I think the US-India relationship has reached a crossroads, from which turn it will take, I do not know. India’s close relationship with Russia has always been a hindrance in the US-India relationship. After Russia’s attack on a sovereign country without provocation, it was expected that India would reconsider its relationship with Russia.

She says, ‘I think the US has understood that India cannot immediately end its dependence on Russian military equipment. The US also recognizes that India has genuine security interests that need to be protected. She goes on to say, ‘But I also think that in order to move forward now America will expect India to relax a little in its relationship with Russia, but otherwise I think defense and defense for India and America. It will be really difficult to carry forward the partnership in security matters. Curtis praised the Biden administration for understanding India’s position on Russia.

She said that the Biden administration has given direction to the decisions of the Trump administration regarding US-India relations. She said that due to the Quad, the US-India relations have increased the heat. “There were three quad conferences at Biden, two virtual and one face-to-face, it was a big deal,” she says. This shows that the Biden administration has placed the Quad at the center of its strategy for the Indo-Pacific region. She said the Indo-Pacific Strategic Document can be seen by anyone. In this, the Biden administration has attached great importance to the strategic partnership with India and acknowledged India’s central role in the region. She says, ‘ For this reason, I say that in our view, the Biden administration has also shown a lot of patience and tolerance in India’s approach to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The Biden administration is understanding the importance of India in terms of the distant future. He knows that India will have an important role in taking the iron against the aggressive behavior of China in this area.

Curtis also said, “India abstained from voting nine times on resolutions brought against Russia in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). He did not even condemn the Russian attack on Ukraine without provocation. The Biden administration has been understanding this confusion of India. So, I think this issue is causing some degree of rift in the relationship. They said, ‘ Personally, I am also amazed at how patient the Biden administration has shown India. In response to a question, he said that speaking against Russia would only benefit India.

Liza says that if the world ignores Russia’s aggressive stance in Europe and does not arm the Ukrainian government in the fight against Russia, then it is China’s aggressive behavior in the Indo-Pacific region or towards the border of neighboring countries. It would be like giving a green signal. She says, “I think people will be surprised to think that India is not linking Russia’s actions in Eastern Europe to a possible Chinese invasion of the Indo-Pacific region which will have a direct bearing on India’s security interests.” “Russia is facing severe sanctions from the West, which is likely to increase as the brutality against civilians in Ukraine is rampant,” Curtis said. Russia would like to further strengthen ties with India due to increasing sanctions.

According to Lisa, Russia’s dependence on China apart from India will also increase. She says, “Russia is still a junior partner of China and its status will decrease further in the future.” That is, China will pursue the relationship between the two countries on its own terms. Therefore, if India is thinking that by refraining from condemning Russia on Ukraine, it will get Russia’s support for China’s aggressive behavior on the border, then it is wrong.

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