With the onset of Ukraine-Russia Conflict, Europe has again become hotbed of theories of WW3 and theories of new World Order in making. Ukrain Backed or rather inflated by NATO is fighting a battle of survival while Russia is fighting the battle of dominance. But far away from the main conflict zone some countries are also facing heat. India is one of those countries who are having a lot at stake in Ukraine-Russia conflict but a little power in changing the course of war. But still both side wants the World’s largest democracy to pick a side.

From Day 1 US and Allies has been putting pressure on India although the official response from Western powers specially US has been somewhat trying to put a brave face and give a mild response on India’s stand on Ukraine conflict but there has been a deeper anguish against India which can be seen expressed through indirect channels like Twitter post where political/Media influencers having state affiliations have been continuously condemning India’s stance on Ukraine. The Idea is to keep pressurizing the Modi government to take a firm stand through their usual style of Media manipulation and asking allies to convey the message.

On the other hand Russia while thankful to India for time and again abstaining on voting for Ukraine Resolution in UN is keeping a close watch on the time tested partnership. Since the Fall of Soviet Union and the onset of India-US relationship. Russia has come to understanding that they can’t really stop India the largest democracy from having warm relationship with other democracy but time and again has shown there discomfort with India inching closer towards the west specially since start of Modi’s term in power and his policy of taking India’s relationship with US to a new level. Be it Putin’s visit to oversee the S-400 deal or the latest Russian effort to lure India with more advance defense technology, Russia is keen to keep his long term FRIEND from drifting away. A recent visit from Chinese Foreign Minister is also a step toward persuading India to look away from west and reminder that neighbors should stick together (even when China has kept Indian borders hot with conflicts ) and Russian foreign minister is also set to visit India soon in a hope to make sure New Delhi will remain firm on its current stand. Which also indicate that Russia is not in a mood to back off and the conflict is here to stay.

India although up until now has been sailing the Russia-Ukraine conflict quite confidently. New Delhi is well aware of the challenges they are ought to face in coming days. With China an aggressive neighbor posing a serious threat to India and since after more then a year of Galwan conflict India and Chinese army are up against each other in huge numbers it doesn’t seem the conflict is going to end soon while the Chinese side do want to progress the business relationship with India and have repeatedly suggested that conflict should not decide the course of India-Chinese relations. India on the other hand is clear that conflict needs to be discuss and resolved. Indian External Affair Minister Mr. Jaishankar terming India-China ties at “NOT NORMAL” makes it very clear that New Delhi is not ready to accept Chinese version of bilateral ties and defense needs will remain a very critical point of deciding on our Foreign policy. Which means India currently cannot put Russian relations at strain and will have to manage pressure from west.

While US and allies are currently not in a mood to put sanctions on India, because they need a stable ally in Asia to manage the rising economic power of China. Also there is a hope that if Russia decides to come clear on negotiation tables, Indian position can be used as a messenger.

But if NATO-Russia conflict escalate that will mean US might loose its patience and will come to its old political stance of “you are either with us, or against us”. Already a considerable part of political fraternity is lobbying to punish India for its stand in the conflict, although a number of US allies and NATO members are continuing there relationship with Russia. India’s stand on Russia is perceived as a long term problem for NATO as any strong nation is perceived as a standard threat to US security no matter how friendly the relations are.

New Delhi for long has been able to maintain neutrality in global conflicts but as India trying to put it foots on a bigger global stage its natural for other countries to want a more clear stand on Global issues which might mean bracing for some losses. Fortunately for India currently there are couple of things which might help India sail through this new Era cold war.

  • China being perceived as a bigger current threat then India,
  • New Delhi giving signals to Russia that although it abstain from voting or criticizing Russia on global forum but it doesn’t approve of its action,
  • Public reaction in India to the conflict has been largely strange while feeling sorry for Ukraine, Indians are not comfortable in criticizing Russia largely due to deep rooted distrust of USA and Soviet era support to India
  • and this one might come as surprise to many but we believe it or not over the time India has been able to create a list of new Developing Democratic country who are comfortable in working and supporting India

Still India is looking at a challenging foreign policy situation which has to be handled very carefully but it does present India with a chance to mark it presence at the global stage and earn gains if played correctly.

“War: a massacre of people who don’t know each other for the profit of people who know each other but don’t massacre each other – Paul Valery

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