Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine Is Putting India in the Hot Seat

Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine Is Putting India in the Hot Seat
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a press conference after the signing ceremony for India’s purchase of Russian S-400 air defense systems in New Delhi, India, Oct. 5, 2018 (AP photo by Manish Swarup).

Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, India—which is currently a nonpermanent member of the United Nations Security Council—has drawn scrutiny for having abstained multiple times on votes in the Security Council, U.N. General Assembly and U.N. Human Rights Council on resolutions criticizing the Russian aggression. Instead, the Indian Mission at the United Nations issued a nuanced statement calling for an “immediate cessation of violence” in Ukraine, without publicly condemning Russia’s actions—a move that pleased neither its Western partners nor Russia.

The Russian-Ukraine war puts India in a difficult position. On the one hand, India wants to avoid antagonizing the U.S., a long-time partner with which it has multifaceted and deepening ties. On the other, ongoing tensions with Pakistan and China require India to preserve its relationship with Russia, which is one of New Delhi’s leading suppliers of weapons and defense equipment.

Although the Biden administration has avoided any public criticism of India’s stance over Ukraine, its disappointment over New Delhi’s repeated failure to condemn President Vladimir Putin’s actions is palpable. American officials have identified India as a reliable U.S. partner in Washington’s Indo-Pacific strategy to counter China, and they clearly expected more from India in view of their emerging strategic alignment.

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of tens of thousands of articles.
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday.
  • Regular in-depth articles with deep dives into important issues and countries.
  • The Daily Review email, with our take on the day’s most important news, the latest WPR analysis, what’s on our radar, and more.
  • The Weekly Review email, with quick summaries of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.