Russia has accused the US and NATO of adding to the existing problems between India and China. According to Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov both the US and NATO are ‘making overtures’ to India and are creating additional problems.
The Russian minister was addressing a press conference in Moscow on Wednesday (Jan 19, 2023) and his opening remarks showed no sign of immediate cessation of war in Ukraine. “The Russian minister has mentioned his country’s willingness to engage in diplomacy but has accused the West of lacking seriousness and of hypocrisy. A negotiation will require moderation from both sides, but that is not the case at the moment,” Prof Rajan Kumar, school of International Studies, JNU tells Financial Express Online.
According to the Russian minister Lavrov “the US-led West has taken the concept of the Indo-Pacific “out of context and given a new meaning – the indivisibility of interests of NATO and the Indo-Pacific region. The difference is obvious”.
According to Prof Rajan Kumar, School of International Studies, JNU, “Sergei Lavrov’s statement is a reiteration of Russia’s position on NATO. His comprehensive interaction should be seen as an attempt to counter the Western narratives on the war in Ukraine.”
“He blames NATO, especially the United States, for the war in Ukraine. NATO is engaged in a proxy war in Ukraine and is trying to create alliances in the Indo-Pacific. According to Lavrov, such attempts create security dilemmas in both regions. The traditional security architecture is under threat in both regions,” Prof Rajan explained to Financial Express Online.
“The Russian minister invokes the rhetoric of colonialism and neo-colonialism. These terms carry specific meanings in the global South and can be seen as an attempt to appeal to the wider audience in the post-colonial states. He specifically mentions emerging countries such as China, India, Brazil, Argentina, Turkey and Egypt, which have not openly criticised Russia. These countries maintain good relations with Russia for historical, security and commercial reasons.”
According to Prof Rajan, Lavrov regrets the fact that the countries of Europe have lost their ‘strategic autonomy’ in making decisions. “He refers to joint EU and NATO declarations which seek to ensure the global dominance of the West. One of the outcomes of the war is that the West has pushed Russia out of the European security architecture. The OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe) is no longer the deciding institution in ensuring the security of Europe.”
“Lavrov makes a random observation about the US overtures to create a rift between India and China. Sometime earlier, he had blamed Washington for creating a rift between India and Russia. Experts in New Delhi, however, would take this reference seriously. India has not succumbed to US pressures in its security matters. It refused to follow the Western sanctions on Russia and continues to cherish its policy of ‘multi-alignment’ determined by its national interests,” opines Prof Rajan.
India-Russia Relations: What has the Russian minister said in the past?
On the Indo-Pacific Region Strategy of the US, Minister Lavrov has said earlier that this will not have any impact on the close partnership between Russia and India.
In Jan 2021, Mr Lavrov had said that Russia will do its utmost to make sure that India and China live in peace with one another. There is a Troika format of “Russia, India and China’’.
More about NATO
It is an intergovernmental military grouping and has 30 member nations. This was established in the aftermath of World War II and has headquarters in Brussels and it functions under the framework of collective security.