India’s government is coming under pressure to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine after the death of an Indian student from shelling in Ukraine’s second city of Kharkiv.
Opposition Congress party P Chidambaram tweeted the Indian government “should stop its verbal balance-keeping policy and desperately demand that Russia immediately stops the bombing of major cities in Ukraine. If the bombing is stopped, foreigners trapped in Ukraine may be able to leave the country.”
“India must speak louder and bolder and demand that Russia stop bombing immediately,” he said.
See more> भारत सरकार को अपने मौखिक संतुलन बनाए रखने की नीति को रोकना चाहिए और सख्त मांग करनी चाहिए कि रूस यूक्रेन के प्रमुख शहरों की बमबारी को तुरंत रोके।
यदि बमबारी रोक दी जाती है, तो यूक्रेन में फंसे विदेशी देश से निकलने में सक्षम हो सकते हैं।
— P. Chidambaram (@PChidambaram_IN) March 2, 2022
The Indian government is yet to publicly criticise Russia’s actions amid the brutal military assault despite thousands of Indian students remaining trapped in the country.
Prime Minister, Narendra Modi has “stressed upon the importance of respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of nations” and an Indian foreign ministry source said diplomats have taken a critical stance in private.
India, along with China and the United Arab Emirates abstained from a United Nations Security Council resolution to officially condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The measure, proposed by the US and Albania, demanded Moscow immediately withdraw its forces and reverse recognition of two separatist areas in eastern Ukraine as independent. However it was vetoed by Russia so failed to pass.
Russia has long supported India on key issues such as Kashmir and provides the bulk of its military hardware. New Delhi has recently attempted to walk a diplomatic tight-rope between a reliance on Russian-made weapons and having Moscow move closer to its fellow super-power rival, China.
India claims the entire erstwhile British Indian princely state of Jammu and Kashmir based on an instrument of accession signed in 1947. Pakistan claims most of the region based on its Muslim-majority population, which was the formula adopted for the partition of Indian in 1947.
Harsh Pant, a defence and geopolitical analyst at the New Delhi-based Observer Research Foundation told Reuters: “India is increasingly uncomfortable with the position that Russia has taken, but it is very difficult for it to voice it in public.”
China’s refusal to characterise the attack as an invasion has also been noticed internationally, after the country called for the “territorial integrity of every country to be respected”.
It has moved to evacuate more than 2,000 Chinese citizens from Ukraine and is believed to be watching the Western response closely given its territorial claims over Taiwan.
A house damaged in a shelling in the Donbas region of Ukraine (Photo: Alexander Ryumin/Tass) Who are the nations supporting Russia?
On Wednesday more than 100 diplomats walked out of a speech by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Geneva in protest at Russia’s actions. Even neutral Switzerland has imposed financial sanctions against Mr Lavrov, illustrating the scale of the outrage at Russia’s claims it wants to “denazify” Ukraine.
Envoys from Syria, China and Venezuela were among delegations that stayed. Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria has expressed support for Moscow’s recognition of the “republics” in eastern Ukraine and Iran’s foreign minister described Russia’s move as “rooted in Nato provocations”.
The UAE and Saudi Arabia have also refused to condemn Russian actions. Saudi Arabia has not issued a statement following the invasion and will not increase oil production to bring down spiking prices following the crisis. The emir of Qatar has also called for “all parties to exercise restraint.”
Emirati political science professor, Abdulkhaleq Abdulla, told the Financial Times the decision of Gulf states to split with the US shows a growing willingness to step out of America’s shadow.
“We no longer need a green light from America or any other western capital to decide on our national interest,” he said. “We are not with or against – that is the position. If America is upset, they will just have to level with that.”
Russia’s other supporters include Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela. President Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela said “the peace of Russia is the peace of the world”.
President Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua said he expressed his “solidarity and our encouragement in this struggle” to Mr Putin.
The response from Central Asian countries in the Collective Security Treaty Organisation – a 2002 pact between Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan described as a “mini-Nato” – has ranged from outright support to silence.
Belarus is Russia’s most vocal ally and has allowed Russian troops to stage part of the invasion from its territory.
Kazakhstan has avoided public criticism but not sided with Russia and decided not to send troops for a joint military operation.
Kyrgyzstan’s President, Sadyr Japarov, has been openly supportive, while Uzbekistan and Tajikistan have remained neutral.
Armenia has voted against expelling Russia from the Council of Europe but has otherwise kept a low profile on the invasion.