NEW DELHI: The joint statement issued at the end of President Putin’s talks with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, may have raised no eyebrows. China was circumspect about its support for Russia on Ukraine, but clearly sees gains from siding with Moscow. Russia says it’s ready for peace talks but will not relent from its position on Ukraine.
This has enormous implications for countries like India, says Pankaj Saran, former deputy national security adviser and ambassador to Russia. Speaking on The Gist, Saran argues that the joint statement read with the Western insistence on ensuring Russia’s defeat in Ukraine, signals a hardening of positions with neither willing to compromise.
The West, by seeking to isolate, demonise and sanction Russia is pushing it into a corner where the only friend it has is China. This only weakens Russia to China’s advantage. The West is also taking aim at other groupings such as the BRICS and RICS, labelling them as inherently evil, which puts India in a difficult position.
India has difficult ties with China but good relations with Russia and the West. It would prefer the latter two come together because the larger challenge is China. Current Western policy divides energy and effort to tackle Russia and China when ideally, the focus should be on China. Tune in for more in this conversation with Pankaj Saran.