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What do Indians think of the Ukrainian crisis and why India isn't ready to turn its back on the West.
After the imposition of Western sanctions on Russia many materials on the perspectives of Russia's cooperation with Eastern countries have appeared in Russian media. One of the most important partners of the Russian Federation together with China is said to be India. Vostok Magazine is going to tell you why such statements are not entirely correct, at its least.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of India has declared a neutral position on Ukrainian conflict and Crimea's annexation. According to RIA Novosti agency, professor of the School of International Studies of the Jawaharlal Nehru University Arun Mohanty states that in India there has been a "consensus about Russia for a long time now": "There are no political parties and powers that are against the development of strategic relations and partnership with Russia. Political changes in any of our countries do not influence our strategic partnership". Also the Ministry characterized Western sanctions as "counterproductive" and confirmed the fact of Russian people's genocide in Ukraine thus stated an opinion that Russia has legit interests in Ukraine.
Membership in BRICS (an alliance of 5 countries with developing economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) also helps the development of India-Russia relations. According to the predictions of experts, this economical alliance will be able to get ahead the Big Seven in the question of influencing the world economy and production by 2050. The grounds for the predictions is the fact that the territories of the countries take 25% of the Earth's land, while their population takes 40% of the Earth's population. One more reason is a quite powerful potential for partnership: Brazil has developed agriculture, Russia and RSA are rich with minerals, India has cheap intellectual man power, while China has good manufacturing facilities.
June, 16, an article of Indian ambassador in Russia, P.S. Raghavan, was published in "Vzglyad" newspaper, where he notes the closeness of Russian and Indian cultures, which, in his opinion, can lead to a profitable cooperation of the two countries. Also the ambassador mentioned the necessity of a peaceful solution of the Ukrainian conflict, saying that the "disorders sometimes try to be explained by religious and cultural factors, but the roots are usually economical". Thus officials give a reserved support of Russia's actions concerning Ukraine.
But it's not that simple with public opinion in India. The thing is, Indian media take their information mostly from the Western sources, so the Ukrainian conflict is shown from the point of view opposed to Russian. It's worth noting that Indian media pay less attention to the Ukrainian problem than to the one in Gaza Strip. This is all because of the geographical position of India. That's why Indians are more concerned with Palestine-Israel relations than the Ukrainian crisis, so there's no clear position about the latter in Indian society.
We might note that although Indian government to a certain extent supports Russian position on the Ukraine, it also strives for the consolidation of cooperation with the US and Great Britain in the question of military. Not long ago the United States left Russia behind in the supplies of arms to India. We shouldn't also forget that India is often considered to be the partner of the US that will be able to help the Americans to oppose influential China in the future. Moreover, the USA remains an important economical and strategic partner for India: in 2012-13 the US were on the 3rd place in trade with India (Russia wasn't even in Top-10). And the US-India treaty concerning a joint program of peaceful nuclear research is also crucial to India.
So despite the restrained support of Russia's foreign affairs politics and serious perspectives of economical partnership, India isn't hurrying to distance from the US, thus leaving the question of its opinion about the Ukrainian crises open.