NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s comment “is not an era of war” during bilateral talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) was widely hailed by the international media as a long overdue “rebuke” for Moscow’s war against Ukraine.
A few hours after the Prime Minister’s remarks, India struck another blow Put in as he voted in favor of the authorization of the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskii to address the United Nations virtually next week.

Some media reports have suggested that recent developments may finally signal a change in India’s response, which has so far been careful to criticize Russia.
Since the Russia-Ukraine war began more than seven months ago, India has managed to walk a tightrope between Moscow and Washington while pursuing its own interests.
PM Modi sought cheap oil and much-needed weapons from Russia to counter Beijing’s aggression along their disputed Himalayan border; and more investment from the United States and its allies seeking to diversify supply chains and bypass China.

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New “international order”
However, the “limitless” friendship reached by Chinese leader Xi Jinping and Putin earlier this year could be a factor in India’s long-term strategic planning as tensions with China continue to simmer despite a recent withdrawal. troops from the border.
Indeed, Prime Minister Modi’s remarks may have given a twist to Putin’s plan to rally Asian leaders behind a new “international order” aimed at challenging Western influence.

The SCO summit in former Soviet Uzbekistan brought together Putin and Xi with the leaders of India, Pakistan and four Central Asian nations, as well as the presidents of Iran and Turkey. The summit was proposed by the Kremlin as an alternative to “Western-centric organizations” at a time of growing pressure on Moscow over Ukraine and growing anger in Beijing over US support for Taiwan.
As Xi told the assembled leaders that it was time to reshape the international system and “abandon zero-sum games and blocking politics,” Putin hailed the growing influence of countries outside the West, slamming those he called “instruments of protectionism, illegal sanctions and economic policies”. selfishness”.
“The growing role of cooperating new power centers … is becoming increasingly clear,” Putin said.
However, the rhetoric hit a wall during Putin’s interview with Prime Minister Modi.

“I know that today’s era is not one of war and we have spoken to you many times on the phone that democracy, diplomacy and dialogue are things that touch the world,” said Prime Minister Modi as Putin twisted his lips, looked at the premier and then she looked down before touching her hair on the back of her neck.
Returning to a line that the Russian leader repeatedly used as a stopgap whenever a country’s leader raises concerns about the war’s continuation, Putin said he understood that the Indian leader had concerns about Ukraine, but that Moscow was doing everything possible to end the conflict.
For Putin, the summit was an attempt to show that he is not completely isolated on the global stage, at a time when his forces in Ukraine are facing severe setbacks on the battlefield. The observations of PM Modi have seriously affected that image.
Even before the summit began, Indian Ambassador to Uzbekistan Manish Prabhat said: “India is very clear that the SCO is not an organization opposed to any other bloc or any other country. The SCO it is an enterprise for constructive cooperation and world peace and stability “.
Many experts agree that the challenge for India in the coming months will be to manage a declining relationship with Russia, cultivate its growing ties with the United States, while securing its interests on all sides. A challenge that will really require skilled diplomacy.
(With input from agencies)

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