NEW DELHI: On the 100th episode of ‘Talking Point’, Dr C. Raja Mohan, Senior Fellow at the Asia Society Policy Institute, New Delhi—a division of the Asia Society India Centre, Mumbai— in discussion with StratNews Global Associate Editor Amitabh P. Revi.
In Putin’s Mind
In this interview, Dr Raja Mohan says “there’s been a significant underestimation of what President Putin wanted” adding, “the big project is not the restoration of the Soviet Union, but of the Russian Empire.” Though “no country can do this” and “undo history”, Dr Mohan assesses, “Putin thinks he can”. He most probably is looking to ‘decapitate the Ukrainian government’ and “have another regime in place or he’ll put someone who’s loyal to Russia,” Dr Mohan says, adding, “if we go back to 2013-14, that was the real issue.”
End of the Beginning
“This is just the end of the beginning,” the Senior Fellow at ASPI believes, warning, “watch Poland very closely” in the “contestation for Central Europe”. The West “clearly has not been able to deter Putin from invading” and has “abandoned Ukraine in some sense, to its fate”, he says, going on to elaborate on the “threat of sanctions not deterring Russia, the actual round of sanctions and the kind of damage they will do to the Russian economy and the costs for Europe.”
Diplomatic Bharatnatyam & Strategic Squeeze
Watch the discussion for more on “what Putin has done not being very different from what Xi Jinping has done” in the “South China sea and Ladakh”, how “China is navigating three contradictions” in keeping relatively quiet on the re-invasion, why it “opens a door for Beijing vis-a-vis America and the West”, how the war “puts more of a squeeze on India”, the need for New Delhi to be “extremely focussed on Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh”, Delhi’s “diplomatic Bharatnatyam” to get over diplomatic problems in a UN Security Council vote, “dealing with the strategic problem of navigating sanctions and the arms dependency on Russia even as China and Russia get together, even more”, America “dividing its attention between Asia—the Indo Pacific and China— and Europe” and India’s “nightmare scenario of China, Russia and Pakistan getting together.”