Ukraine-Russia war causing diplomatic dilemma for India

As the Ukraine-Russia war completes one year, leaving a trail of death and destruction on both sides and a massive disruption of global trade, there is still no sign of resolution. When he sent troops to invade Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin expected a meek surrender by the neighbour with no meaningful involvement of other countries. However, it has turned out to be a grave miscalculation, leading to a protracted conflict with seemingly no end in sight. Thousands of people have died and more than 13 million people have been made refugees abroad or displaced inside Ukraine. Contrary to the initial expectations, Ukraine managed to push back the invading army from Kyiv. It also reversed some other territorial losses, including at Kherson in November, the only regional capital Russia had seized.

The pointless war is fanning regional instability and fuelling global tensions and divisions while diverting attention and resources from other crises and pressing global issues. The trust deficit between Russia and the West is now at an all-time high. The reverberations of the war are being felt far and wide. For India, the Ukraine crisis has thrown up a diplomatic dilemma, forcing it to do some tightrope walking and strike a balance between the imperatives of its long and time-tested bilateral ties with Russia and the need to side with the chorus of outrage over Moscow’s unjustified invasion of a sovereign country. India has been consistently rooting for a negotiated settlement of all disputes and immediate cessation of hostilities. It took a pragmatic approach throughout the conflict, purely guided by national interests.