India must determine how much it can rely on Putin as China has its eyes on Russia
The conflict in Ukraine has now lasted one year. China under Xi Jinping has provided one of the most closely watched responses to the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken made the grave claim that China could give Russia "lethal assistance" at the Munich Security Conference on Sunday. Beijing refutes this assertion. The statement sparked a wide range of reactions from the strategic community all over the globe. However, what is China's real strategy?
Prior to China's advances, a dramatic series of events occurred in the run-up to the war's first anniversary, underscoring geopolitical fault lines once more.
Beginning the week was the President of the Unexpected trip to Kiev by Joseph Biden from the United States. He delivered a flawless speech in which he reiterated the US's pledge to aiding Ukraine amid wailing air sirens.
The following day, Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke to the National Assembly of Russia, escalating the nuclear threat by halting the New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) with the United States. A few hours later, he was seen in the Kremlin in an unusually close-up situation with senior Chinese diplomat Wang Yi. The last destination on Wang's tour of Europe was Moscow.
On the first anniversary of the conflict, which is now in its second year, these two images—Biden with Zelensky and Wang with Putin—sum up the divided geopolitical solidarities.
Wang's timing was impeccable and increased the seriousness of Blinken's a statement on the alleged intentions of Beijing.
An astutely "neutral" New Delhi has also regarded it with prudence.
It makes sense that India would base its assessment of its relations with Moscow in large part on China's involvement in the conflict in Ukraine and its support for—or absence thereof—in Russia.
The explanation is straightforward: India is evaluating how well its relations with Russia help it manage the regional order in light of China's ascent and its unresolved border dispute with its archrival. The geopolitical considerations of India would be defeated if a weakened Russia approached China too closely.