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India's international canvas

The nation's diplomacy enters a critical phase

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India Russia | SCO | SCO summit

Business Standard Editorial Comment  |  Mumbai 



Prime Minister Narendra Modi has earned accolades from Western nations for his plain-spoken criticism of the Ukraine invasion during his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the recently concluded Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in Uzbekistan. Combined with India’s vote at the UN in support of permitting Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to address the UN General Assembly next week, this explicit backing for Ukraine compared with New Delhi’s position in February may reflect a recognition of the military situation on the ground but it also demonstrates India’s ability to adjust its diplomacy to altering geo-political realities. Such suppleness will be tested in the year ahead as it takes over as chair of the eight-country bloc and hosts the summit in September next year. Questions may be raised on the value of this position, given that expected bilateral meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif did not materialise. These non-developments may reveal much about the state of relations with the two neighbours but they could also be attributed to India’s desire to calibrate perceptions, distinguishing its multilateral aims within the from outstanding bilateral issues with China and Pakistan.

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First Published: Sun, September 18 2022. 21:28 IST

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