Russia has been attacking Ukraine for nearly two weeks, killing hundreds of people and displacing over 2 million.
In addition to causing a humanitarian disaster and sending shockwaves throughout the world, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s actions in Ukraine have focused attention on the nations’ foreign policy.
While some nations, like as Germany, have entirely switched their defense and energy policies to chastise Russia and defend Europe’s borders, others, such as India, have maintained a somewhat restrained approach toward old friend Russia.
However, with the death of one Indian student in Ukraine’s Kharkiv city and hundreds more Indian students still awaiting evacuation, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi is under pressure to denounce Russia’s conduct.
P Chidambaram, an Indian member from the opposition Congress party, tweeted last week, “The Government of India should cease its rhetorical balancing act and forcefully urge that Russia stop bombing important cities in Ukraine immediately.”
Meanwhile, Modi has met with both Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, calling for an end to the bloodshed.
On the global arena, however, India has so far refrained from denouncing Russia’s activities at the United Nations, instead reiterating its “commitment to the values of the UN Charter, international law, and respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all nations.”
<h2><b>Are EU-India relations in jeopardy?</b></h2> In the Ukraine crisis, India’s balancing act of pleasing both Russia and the West caught the European Union off surprise.
According to Indian media reports, EU envoys and Ukraine’s envoy to New Delhi met with senior Indian foreign ministry officials last week ahead of a historic vote in the UN General Assembly and pushed India to take a firmer stance on the crisis.
French President Emmanuel Macron met with Modi on the subject as well. France presently has the EU Council chair, and Macron has been having regular conversations with EU leaders and world leaders to de-escalate the problem.
In recent years, India has strengthened relations with the EU in order to counteract Chinese concerns. EU foreign ministers and Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar agreed at the recent Indo-Pacific Forum to strengthen security ties by coordinating marine presence in the Indian Ocean and improving cybersecurity.
Garima Mohan, a fellow at the Asia Program of the German Marshall Fund of the United States, believes that while Europe-India relations have improved in recent years, India may need to reconsider its position on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.