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Russia, Ukraine, & USA – A cross road for India – Guest Author Nirmalya Chatterjee

India has been very close to and dependent on Russia almost since its independence in 1947. Much of India’s arms supply comes from Russia. On the diplomatic front, Russia has stood beside India on some of its critical challenges, most notably on Kashmir issue. There is a significant amount of trade between the two countries including in the oil and gas sector. With Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, India has been playing the delicate act of being ‘neutral’. But, with the war in Ukraine, the country is now at a strategic cross road. 

Through the successive administrations of the US and India, their relationship has improved greatly since the seventies when President Nixon sent naval fleet to Bay of Bengal to warn Mrs. Gandhi against liberating Bangladesh from Pakistan. Those were truly dark days. Russia, around the same time, was vetoing UN resolutions condemning India. But things have changed so much since then. Putin has aligned very closely with China, India’s arch rival. And, United States has gradually distanced itself from its old friend Pakistan as Pakistan has become a safe harbor for terrorism. 

There are intense diplomatic efforts going on right now by both Russia and the United States to get India to take a side. Senior diplomats from the two countries are said to be almost bumping into each other at the Delhi airport on their way to meet their Indian counterparts. Russia’s foreign minister is going to India next week to win India’s support just as the Russian bankers returned from there trying to arrange for alternative ways to facilitate commercial transactions. Veteran US diplomat and Under Secretary of State, Ms. Victoria Nuland, declared upon her return from India trip – “…Russians are going to be sorely disappointed by their relationship with India”. A pretty bold prediction!

Americans believe Putin’s coziness with Xi Jinping worries India. Can India count on Russia in case of a conflict with China? Secondly, with the performance of Russian weapons in Ukraine, Indians don’t feel very secure with all the Russian weapons they have. Last but not the least – India is a democracy. PM Narendra Modi, at the end of the day, would most likely not want to be grouped with authoritarians like Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping. 

India certainly has big challenges to make a shift. It is very dependent on the Russian oil. Right now, because of the sanctions, India is buying that oil at a hefty discount. America has not provided much weaponry to India yet. It is not easy for India to break away from the legacy of Soviet and Russian arsenal if it is to have a reliable security. India is between a rock and a hard place now. As the Ukraine-Russia situation unfolds, Modi, Jaishankar & company will be on the tight rope for some time to come. 

Nirmalya Chatterjee has been a senior executive of several Fortune 500 companies. He was the Chairman of the Hindu Temple of Las Vegas. He is currently the Chief Financial Officer of a Las Vegas based company.


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4 Comments to Russia, Ukraine, & USA – A cross road for India – Guest Author Nirmalya Chatterjee

  1. peter says:

    Great article: WHY SHOULD INDIA BE DRAGGED IN TO THE PROBLEM AND MAKE ITS OWN ?. WEST IS SUPPOSED TO EMPOWER OTHER DEMOCRATIC COUNTRY LIKE INDIA . THE MESS AND DISRUPTION BY USA – MUST TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR SELFISH REASON WHETHER TO SUPPORT ARMS LOBBY . USA HAS BEEN AN UNRELIABLE PARTNER AND TRUST IS THE MAIN ISSUE WEST CAN BE RELIED UPON. WEST HAS PRECOLONIAL MINDSET WITH MINDSET OF BLACK AND WHITE (EITHER YOU ARE WITH US OR NOT -NEUTRALITY IS NOT AN OPTION). RUSSIA HAS BEEN A SOLID RELIABLE TRUSTWORTHY PARTNER – PEOPLE OF INDIA LOVES PEOPLE OF RUSSIA. LOOKING AT THE PAST HISTORY OF WEST ,UK AND USA — THREATENING EVERY FEW MONTHS – WILL CALL – HIGH MAINTENANCE DATE/HUSBAND/WIFE !! AFTER COVID – ALL MAJOR ECONOMIES ARE IN ICU WITH RESPIRATOR AND INTRAVENOUS DRIP ( FOR INDIA-SUPPORTED BY RUSSIA ) AND WEST IS TELLING INDIA TO REMOVE DRIP AND RESPIRATOR SO THE DEFENSE IS COLLAPSED -SO CHINA AND PAKISTAN CAN FIND AN OPPORTUNITY TO INVADE OR MAKE IT UNSTABLE.

  2. peter says:

    Democratic country must follow the will of people. People of India loves Russians. Indian culture is to be grateful to the country who helped in time of crises and need. West has one language “sanction” . No country would take this threatening posture of west. What west need to do is 1. Empower other largest democratic country (India) in a way that democracy is spread all over the world. 2. Address their needs like technology transfer , joint production , make India self reliant and more powerful than China -the biggest threat to the west . Russia wanted to join NATO – west refused and started needling every other month resulting in to security challenge to Russia. War is within ukraine- more resistance -more destruction – at the end doesnot matter who wins. WEST SHOULD USE INDIA FOR ARBITRATION TO STOP WAR .

  3. PRADIP I. BHATT says:

    Nehru a Muslim Socialist got in bed with Russia starting from 1947 as he was afraid of Democratic Capitalist America who did help India 🇮🇳 during China War. Russians with the help of Indira Gandhi (Real Name Indira Firoz Khan) killed Lal Bahadur Shashtriji in Tashkent. So Congress Dictator Party promoted Communist Dictatorship of Russia in India through propaganda. Indians DO NOT LOVE RUSSIANS! They love Democracy and Capitalism. Nobody has been going to Russia for higher education or for business. PM Modi inherited Russian connection from Nehru Family Central Government… He will surprise us on how he wiggles out of Russian Grip 🇮🇳 JAI HIND 🇮🇳

  4. peter says:

    What Russia is doing to Ukraine –China has already rolled over Tibet and still holding Tibet by its neck. The worst is world remained deaf and blind , instead slept in bed with China. When USA attacked Yugoslavia- where was moral GPS ? When we attacked Afghanistan – where was moral compass ? The selective moral compass is the issue for India. No one trust west because it is only about “me me me “Democracy is accepted in the world because-rest of the world look at India as an example to follow. In summary: WEST MUST MAKE INDIA STRONGER IF THEY WANT TO STAND ON HIGH MORAL GROUND. Sanction on another democratic country is “anti democratic” action.

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