The main statements following Sergey Lavrov’s visit to Delhi last week are known, for example, this one: “As for the use of rubles and rupees in commercial financial transactions, I would like to recall that many years ago we began to move away from dollars and euros in our relations with India, China and many other countries <…> in order to use the national currency more. Under the current circumstances, this trend will naturally increase.We will be ready to provide India with any goods that it wants to purchase.We have good relations between the Ministers of Trade and Finance.This is a way to bypass the artificial obstacles created by illegal unilateral Western sanctions.
As for sovereign military-technical cooperation, there is no doubt that a solution will be found. The relevant ministries are already working on it.”
The most interesting thing is what is behind these words. And behind them are mega-, giga-, terabytes of comments around the world about what India’s position is in the current global crisis and why it is the way it is.
With China, everything was clear from the very beginning, since it has been appointed a systemic competitor to the United States and has long been receiving new packages of sanctions with or without reason. But India has a different situation, for years they have been trying to use it as a battering ram against China and therefore write it down in all sorts of purely Western alliances – despite the fact that Delhi quite consciously enters into them. At the same time, India remains a member of the BRICS and a permanent partner of the same Russia, China and others. How does all this fit in with the sanctions hurricane, which covered far more than just Europe or the US?
If we talk about official language, then India is saddened by the events in Ukraine and would like negotiations and peace. But India is against any and all economic sanctions. By the way, such a position is called neutrality and almost verbatim coincides with the Chinese.
And here are the details of the situation. Let’s list who, over the past month and a half, called or came to Delhi to force the Indians to condemn Moscow and, in fact, join the Western alliance against Russia and China. And to list them is very long. The prime ministers of Australia and Japan worked, not to mention the entire key team from Washington. And not only them.
By the way, actually at the same time as Lavrov, the assistant to the US national security adviser Duleep Singh (an ethnic Indian, smart move!), the British Foreign Minister Liz Truss (a fan of tank riding) and the German government adviser on foreign policy and security Jens Plotner were in Delhi at the same time. Delhi is a big city, so there was a chance to separate them geographically and in time.
The difference here is that China is being pressured and intimidated, while India is being persuaded. And we see the result – including the results of Lavrov’s trip. India continues to maintain its neutral position, not giving up Russian oil and other goods (including weapons) and not unconditionally joining anyone. Or, more accurately, joining all at once, if and when possible.
Moreover, we are talking about a typical position for most of the states of the world, just India is the largest and most important of them, something like a flagship and a model.
Why did only the Western group of countries accept these sanctions, why do those who refuse to impose them represent 80 percent of the world’s population, that is, 150 countries out of 193? asks Chinese ex – diplomat Zhou Xiaoming in the Hong Kong South China Morning Post. Why did no one from Africa, the Middle East or Latin America join the sanctions? And he replies: yes, bec-ause sanctions have never benefited anyone, but they mean a lot of real damage. Therefore, it is one thing to subscribe to the UNunder a resolution criticizing Russia (since this resolution does not bear any consequences), it is another matter to voluntarily inflict economic damage on oneself. Sanctions are hated by everyone, joining them or not. For example, because of them, the price of fertilizers in Thailand is “what about us?” has tripled.
One important thought must be expressed here: the sanctions are not introduced for the sake of Ukraine, but for the sake of the sanctions themselves. We are talking about a grandiose project to divide the world economy into two zones, Western and, let’s say, Chinese-Russian. Because under the norms and rules that were in force until yesterday, the competition was won not by the West, but by China and many other countries, including Russia. Ukraine was used here as an excuse, but the violent breaking of the world economy had been going on for a long time, several years.
Therefore, for the West, the main direction of efforts now is to win over to its side of the sanctions as many countries as possible that do not want this. This is the same cactus that Westerners began to gnaw on in 2014: it’s about the “Crimean sanctions”, to which they tried to connect the whole world.
What is happening now specifically with India? Let ‘s look at the publication in the American magazine Foreign Policy, which says that the Indian political elite is very pleased with the situation described above, when everyone needs their country. So you can get a lot of benefits that evaporate as soon as the state unconditionally falls under one owner. Plus, one peculiarity of the situation: India today is a fiercely proud nation, the slightest attempts to pressure it meet with a violent reaction.
At the same time, Delhi is well aware that such a policy of balance enjoys mass support. All the pro-Western thinkers have already spoken in the Indian media, but so do their opponents. Social networks and the politicized part of the population in general are for Russia. But let’s not forget that the turbulent events in neighboring Pakistan and Sri Lanka are now worrying the Indians much more than what is happening in distant Ukraine. Although history played a special role, when Kiev did not let Indian citizens out of the country, and Russia tried to help them.
This is a very typical situation in today’s world. I remember that at the beginning of the special operation in Ukraine, The New York Times reporters worked out a classic of the genre – they took to the streets of several countries that did not join the sanctions and asked a question about Ukraine to the first people they met, such as street vendors, from Delhi to Johannesburg. We received unexpected answers: both reminders of the American wars and phrases like “if Putin made such a decision, then he had reasons for it.”
A peculiar conclusion to this story (including the visit of Sergei Lavrov) sums up The Washington Post: it will be a long time. The Biden administration’s pressure on Delhi will continue, but don’t expect quick results from it. Apparently, the same picture is with the mentioned 150 states of the world – those that hate sanctions and try not to join them.