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Understanding India’s Neutral Stance on the Russia-Ukraine Conflict

MIN READMar 2, 2022 | 20:48 GMT

Members of India’s armed forces march in a military parade in Moscow's historic Red Square on June 24, 2020, to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Soviet Union’s victory in World War II.

Members of India’s armed forces march in a military parade in Moscow's historic Red Square on June 24, 2020, to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Soviet Union’s victory in World War II.

(Ramil Sitdikov - Host Photo Agency via Getty Images)

India will seek to remain neutral in the Russia-Ukraine conflict to maintain its defense ties with Moscow. But if the war intensifies and further isolates Russia, New Delhi may ultimately be forced to recalibrate its position to protect its alliance with the United States. In his statement at the emergency Feb. 24 meeting of the U.N. Security Council (UNSC) to discuss Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, India’s U.N. ambassador notably made no mention of Ukraine’s territorial integrity or sovereignty and appeared to avoid taking sides on the issue. The following day, India abstained on a U.S.-sponsored UNSC resolution that strongly condemned Russia’s actions in Ukraine. Then on Feb. 27, India again abstained from voting on another draft UNSC resolution to hold an emergency session on the Ukraine crisis in the U.N. General Assembly. Eleven of the UNSC’s 15 member states voted in favor of both the Feb. 24 and Feb. 27...

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