Why India Is Non‐​aligned on Russia

There are many reasons why India has abstained in UN votes on Ukraine rather than join the West in condemning Russia.

First, India prizes its non‐​aligned traditions.

Second, India has always viewed Russia (and the USSR earlier) as an old reliable friend and supporter on Kashmir that has always vetoed UN resolutions unfavorable to India.

In 1971 the USSR had signed a virtual mutual assistance treaty with India that ensured China did not intervene in the 1971 Indo‐​Pak war over Bangladesh’s independence.

India also believes strong ties with Russia will help check Chinese excesses in South Asia, and does not want to push Russia into Chinese arms.

Last but not least, Russia has long been India’s biggest, cheapest military supplier, willing to supply high‐​end equipment with minimal end‐​use curbs.

The accompanying chart from SIPRI shows how dependent India has been on arms imports from Russia. India has however been diversifying its military sources since 2013. Imports from the West—France, USA and Israel—now exceed imports from Russia. So, the Russian connection remains important but less than earlier. The long‐​term trend is of a shift towards the West. The rise of the Quad means that India is explicitly allied with the West on containing China. But India still prizes its Russian connection.

 

India Defense Imports

 

No official dares say so but India will be content if Putin is ousted and the Ukraine war ends along with its economic travails. India seeks a Russian connection but not necessarily a Putin connection.

Sourcew : https://www.cato.org

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