The Ukraine War, India and a stand of Non-Alignment

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March 02, 2022

Why in news?

The Russia’s invasion over Ukraine has put India’s foreign policy in a difficult situation.

To know about Russia’s war over Ukraine, click here

What are the claims and counter claims about the Russian invasion of Ukraine?

  • The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is expanding despite the promises and oral commitments given at the highest level by the West to Russia that NATO will not be expanded eastwards.
  • However, that does not justify the invasion of Ukraine and it is not clear how this war will take care of Russian security concerns.
  • The President of Ukraine ought to have been more flexible in devising some formula which would have accommodated Russia’s concerns, for example by announcing adherence to the Minsk agreements.
  • The West could also have been more innovative by warding off the distrust towards Russia.
  • A large part of the world has condemned the Russian invasion since it is a gross violation of sovereignty and territorial integrity of states.

What is challenging for India?

  • US-India- There is the growing relationship with the United States.
  • India-U.S. relations have never been better in the defence sector.
  • Much is also made of the famous Quad (India, the United States, Australia and Japan) which is essentially an arrangement to contain China.
  • Russia-India- There is Russia with whom we have a long-standing history of friendship, which is still our principal source of military hardware technology transfer.
  • Russia has also helped us out in the United Nations on many occasions such as stalling action in the UN at the time of the 1971 Bangladesh war to enable us to finish the job.
  • We might need Russian support in future as and when Pakistan, fully backed by China, brings up the Kashmir issue in the world organisation.
  • India’s stance- The Government had done well by maintaining a kind of neutral position which is a demonstration of the classical Nehruvian policy of non-alignment.
  • The Russian invasion is wrong by every principle of international law but the only lasting principle in foreign policy is the principle of national interest.
  • The same was done at the time of the Soviet Union marching with tanks into Hungary in 1956.
  • The present approach of India is in contrast to our stand on the Anglo-French-Israeli aggression on Egypt, which we condemned, when it nationalised the Suez Canal.
  • Difficulties of neutral approach
    • Continuation of war resulting in large number of civilian casualties
    • The nuclear alert
    • Belarus’s renouncing of non-nuclear status
    • The indiscriminate bombing of major cities

What is NAM and how did it evolve?

The concept of not aligning a country’s policy with others can be traced to the Congress of Vienna (1814-15) when the neutrality of Switzerland was recognised.

  • The NAM was formed during the Cold War to create an independent path in world politics that would not result in member States becoming pawns in the struggles between the major powers.
  • The Bandung Asian-African Conference 1955 is the most immediate antecedent to the creation of NAM.
  • The principles that would govern relations among large and small nations, known as the "Ten Principles of Bandung"were proclaimed at that Conference.
  • The First Summit of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries was held in Cairo, Egypt in 1961.
  • Founding fathers of the movement
    1. Abdel Nasser of Egypt
    2. Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana
    3. Shri Jawaharlal Nehru of India
    4. Ahmed Sukarno of Indonesia
    5. Josip Broz Tito of Yugoslavia




  1. https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-opinion/the-ukraine-war-india-and-a-stand-of-non-alignment/article65182150.ece


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