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Russia-Ukraine Crisis: India\’s Foreign Policy Implications

Rahul Pawa / New Delhi

On February 23, 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a \”special military operation\” in Ukraine. Russia has long opposed Ukraine joining the European Union (EU) and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the West\’s defensive military alliance. He accused NATO of threatening Russia\’s \”historic future as a nation\” and announced Russia\’s military operation in Ukraine. \”The purpose of this operation is to protect people who, for eight years now, have been facing humiliation and genocide perpetrated by the Kyiv regime,\” Putin added.

Subsequently, several media outlets reported explosions in numerous locations and large-scale Russian military operations throughout Ukraine. Ever since Ukraine\’s pro-Russian president, Viktor Yanukovych, was overthrown in 2014 after months of protests against his government, Russian President Vladimir Putin has regularly flagged Ukraine of being taken over by extremists. Russia responded by seizing Crimea\’s southern region and sparking a revolution in the east, backing hardliners against Ukrainian soldiers in a war that has claimed 14,000 lives.

Regardless, the current issue has its roots in the disintegration of the Soviet Union. Ukraine, a former Soviet republic, had the world\’s third-largest nuclear arsenal when the Soviet Union disintegrated in the early 1990s. The US and Russia collaborated with Ukraine to de-nuclearise the country. In a series of diplomatic deals, Kyiv returned hundreds of nuclear warheads to Russia for security assurances against a possible Russian assault. However, the assurances did not stand; below, we examine the 2022 Russia-Ukraine Crisis and discuss India\’s foreign policy implications in that context.

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(Author is the Director for Research at Centre for Integrated and Holistic Studies)

1 thought on “Russia-Ukraine Crisis: India\’s Foreign Policy Implications”

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