South Asia and Beyond

India As Mediator In Russia-Ukraine War?

Is India trying to mediate an end to the Russia-Ukraine war?  One may not get a straight yes or no answer, but Pankaj Saran, former deputy national security adviser and currently head of the NatStrat think tank, believes India has significantly raised its profile on the issue.

Saran told StratNews Global that India may be working to a strategy where on its own and also in concert with other countries, it is raising the pitch on the need for something on the ground, perhaps a ceasefire that could give a breather to the protagonists.  He acknowledges that this will not be easy since there is no sign of any war fatigue on either side.

But they have suffered enormous losses in men, materiel and especially in the case of Ukraine, territory.  The latter’s issues with deficiencies in the supply of ammunition and equipment are in the public domain.  Diplomatic support may also be a shade lacking or in doubt going forward.

That could explain the Ukrainian outreach to India, whether of its own volition or persuaded by its US and European allies, Saran says.  It underscores an important point: that these two power blocs by virtue of being solidly on Kyiv’s side cannot hope to play peacemaker.  Their values would also imply a complete Russian withdrawal from Ukraine, which President Putin has underscored, will never happen.

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China has been actively trying to promote peace but it may have no takers in the capitals of Europe or the US.  An African effort also floundered.

Could India pull off a miracle?  Saran argues that enormous diplomatic effort would be required, not solely from India but from some other countries too.  A deal is not going to happen tomorrow but yes India is in the game.

As for the singular absence of the United Nations, apart from some resolutions passed by the General Assembly, the Security Council is a picture of paralysis given that the members are divided, some backing Ukraine, others Russia.

Surya Gangadharan

Thirty eight years in journalism, widely travelled, history buff with a preference for Old Monk Rum. Current interest/focus spans China, Technology and Trade. Recent reads: Steven Colls Directorate S and Alexander Frater's Chasing the Monsoon. Netflix/Prime video junkie. Loves animal videos on Facebook. Reluctant tweeter.