New Delhi: International pressure is being mounted on India to influence the equal-distance stance taken by the Narendra Modi government vis-à-vis the Russia-Ukraine conflict. However, some key foreign nations and important western powers appreciate factors that weigh in the minds of Indian leadership.
“We would have welcomed to have India in our camp…. But You (India) live in a complicated neighbourhood. You have challenges and constraints,” remarked German National Security Adviser Jens Plötner.
Even the US and Australia have shown understanding of the predicament and diplomatic challenging times India faces. Russia is a major military supplier, partner, and the US is the trade partner and a key strategic friend. Moreover, this ‘very friendship’ has only become more robust in the last few years under Modi in India and under three US Presidents, Barack Obama, Donald Trump and incumbent Joe Biden.
Plötner held a detailed discussion with NSA Ajit Doval. The German NSA’s visit was kept confidential until the last moment. Importantly, he also met External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and Foreign Secretary Harsh V. Shringla.
“Everybody has his own geography, everybody has his own geopolitical setting in which it must evolve,” said Plötner, the foreign and security policy adviser to the German Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz.
He also said, “What are the lessons that countries — big and small — draw from this war? We don’t want the big ones to be encouraged. Because we don’t want smaller countries to fear that countries bigger in size can go back in history and geography, and say that the smaller country has no right to exist.”
He said the Ukraine crisis has lessons to offer on the global stage.
“If we start looking back in history, and then choosing to define the geography of our country, I think we’re in for quite a period of turmoil internationally….,” he remarked.
Meanwhile, the German chancellor, Olaf Scholz, said he expects his country will continue to pay for Russian gas in euros from Friday after Vladimir Putin signed a decree threatening to enforce rouble payments from “unfriendly countries”.
Moscow’s move has raised fears that it could be about to throttle gas supplies as well. Energy contracts between Germany and Russia stipulated payments in euros, sometimes in dollars.
The German gas payments in euros would be converted into roubles by Russia’s Gazprombank, German media reported.