UPSC Daily Editorial Analysis | 21 January 2022

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What the article is about?

  • Talks about the Russia Ukraine Crisis and its impact on India

Syllabus: GS-II International Relations

Russia-Ukraine conflict:

  • Tensions between Ukraine and Russia, both former Soviet states, escalated in late 2013 over a landmark political and trade deal with the European Union.
    • After the pro-Russian then-President, Viktor Yanukovych, suspended the talks, weeks of protests in Kiev erupted into violence.
  • Then, in March 2014, Russia annexed Crimea, an autonomous peninsula in southern Ukraine with strong Russian loyalties, on the pretext that it was defending its interests and those of Russian-speaking citizens.
  • Shortly afterwards, pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine’s Donetsk and Luhansk regions declared their independence from Kiev, prompting months of heavy fighting.
  • Despite Kiev and Moscow signing a peace deal in Minsk in 2015, brokered by France and Germany, there have been repeated ceasefire violations.

India’s Response:

  • India did not join the Western powers’ condemnation of Russia’s intervention in Crimea and kept a low profile on the issue.
  • In November 2020, India voted against a Ukraine-sponsored resolution in the United Nations (UN) that condemned alleged human rights violations in Crimea thereby backing old ally Russia on the issue.

Impact on India:

  • Hinder Delhi’s interest in preventing a further deepening of Russia’s ties with China.
    • To counter western backlash Russia will need Chinese support- diplomatic and military
  • Complicate India’s effort to maintain a delicate balance between its partnerships with the US, Europe and Russia.
    • India can’t openly criticise the Russian action or endorse it
  • Western response and sanctions might hinder Indian strategic interests.
  • A deteriorating situation in Europe could draw US attention away from Indo-Pacific theatre.
  • This could hamper India’s move to deepen security and economic ties with European partners.
  • Also in order to counter Russia, European capitals seek to stabilise ties with China
  • Also impacts India’s economic and defence trade ties with Ukraine.
    • Around 7500 Indians are also residing in Ukraine, among students pursuing a career there.

Way Out:

  • India aims for a diplomatic solution and non-military action in the conflict
  • A practical solution for the situation is to revive the Minsk peace process

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