A thoughtful expression of India’s awkward position among the US-led West
Was Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s admonition to Russian President Vladimir Putin in Samarkand a well thought out expression of India’s awkward position between Russia’s ongoing war against Ukraine and the US-led West?
Or, was it a ‘natural’ result of the two leaders meeting in person for the first time in more than nine months, with an emerging barrage of global and bilateral issues to talk and discuss?
Modi told Putin in Samarkand on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit, “I know today is not an era of war and we have spoken to you many times over the phone that democracy, diplomacy and dialogue are things that touch the world.” Huh.”
Modi’s remarks to Putin had a tremendous impact on US and Western leaders. Some took it as a sign that Putin had lost one of his two biggest allies. And second, China’s Xi Jinping was also uneasy as he reportedly delivered a similar message to the Russian leader, but in a private way.
A few days later, US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said Modi’s remarks were highly welcomed by the United States. Earlier this week, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called on Indian Secretary of State S. “We couldn’t have agreed more,” Jaishankar said during a press briefing.
Even US lawmakers noticed it.
Ro Khanna, an Indian Democratic member of the House of Representatives, said Modi made it clear that the attack was wrong.
Khanna was highly critical of India’s refusal to condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine and its continued import of Russian oil.
Modi’s remarks changed the narrative that had taken root in the US that India and China were Russia’s biggest supporters and that as long as Putin has Modi and Xi, he will be able to withstand US-led western sanctions and would be reluctant to end his invasion of Ukraine. Modi’s remarks were in line with the said Indian position that hostilities should end immediately and that the territorial integrity and sovereignty of all should be respected in accordance with the United Nations Charter.