NEW DELHI: India’s neutrality regarding Russia’s invasion in Ukraine has been a benefit to New Delhi, analysts have said. The arrival of President Ursula von der Leyen, European Commission President, on Sunday was the latest high-profile visitor to the Indian capital during the ongoing war.
Von der Leyen’s visit is just days after Boris Johnson, the British Prime Minister, visited India. This was the first visit by both officials to South Asia since 2019, when they took office.
India hosted Russian Foreign Secretary Sergey Lavrov earlier on this month. This has led to increasing pressure from the West for India to lose its neutrality, and join the ranks condemning Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
The war will be discussed in von der Leyen’s talks with Narendra Modi, the Indian Prime Minister. Analysts say that India is benefiting from the West’s active efforts to separate it from Russia.
Sujata Aashwarya from Jamia Millia Islamia University (New Delhi) stated that India’s stand on war in Europe is “at heart of geopolitics”.
Arab News: “The West is determined to keep India democratic…it does not have a geopolitical effect on the globe,” she stated.
“India could reap the benefits of the ‘gold rush’ of Western arms manufacturers linked to Ukraine.”
Johnson’s visit concluded with a bilateral agreement to increase defense cooperation. The United States stated that it would also work with India in order to reduce its dependence on Russian weapons.
Ashwarya said, “But, this doesn’t sound appealing nor sustainable.” “International relations based solely on expediency are doomed…India must consider its values and interests. These issues need careful consideration.”
Russia is India’s largest supplier of military hardware, and India’s dependence on Moscow to supply defense gear is part its geopolitical stance. Sanjay Kapoor (editor-in-chief, political magazine Hard News) stated that India’s defense preparedness was “critical” due “Pakistan, China’s hostile neighbor.”
According to Kapoor, “India is benefiting greatly from this situation” and that many emissaries of Western powers are trying attract India to ensure it stays part of the Indo Pacific alliance and the Quad, Kapoor spoke to Arab News about the countries. The countries include the USA, India, Australia, and Japan.
“It seems that India has been capable of convincing the US and the West that India’s interests lie in them.”
Kapoor stated that India could defend itself militarily against a hegemonic China.
Anil Trigunayat (ex-Indian ambassador to Libya and Malta), said that for the EU President’s visit to India bilateral relations issues related “to a rich partnership with great promise” should be expected.
The European Commission stated that Modi and von der Leyen will discuss climate change, energy, and connectivity in their talks, which are expected to take place Monday.
Trigunayat stated that India is the second-largest and fastest-growing major economic country, as well as having good relations with many countries.
“It doesn’t believe in zero-sum games.”