Prolonged war will hurt India

The dire warnings of Jens Stoltenberg, head of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), have certainly heightened the fears and concerns of policymakers around the world that the West should be ready for war in Ukraine for years past. Countries, especially developing countries, are facing the effects of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, including rising prices of food, energy and fertilizers and scarcity of these goods. With the Economist Intelligence Unit warning, energy has the most serious impact, with crude prices upwards of $ 100 a barrel until the conflict continues. Russia and Ukraine account for one-third of global wheat and barley exports, and the blockade of Ukrainian ports has caused short-term impact in various parts of the world. While the West has said that sanctions on Russia will not affect food supplies, Russia is opposed to restrictions on its banking system and the shipping industry makes food exports impossible.

New Delhi was initially hard-pressed by its long-standing strategic ties with Moscow, which required a delicate balancing act between Russia and the West, and India did not abstain from criticism of all votes for Ukraine at the United Nations (UN). Russian actions. Despite the tremendous pressure from the United States and its partners to accelerate discounted Russian energy purchases or to circumvent sanctions through alternative payment mechanisms, Indian refineries are picking up Russian oil quickly. So much so that Russia accounted for just 2% of India’s oil imports until February, making Iraq the second largest source of crude oil between March and June.

India’s ability to withstand such pressure from the West – aided by the fact that major European powers such as France and Germany are still buying Russian gas – does not mean the country’s worries are over. In the interconnected world, the prolongation of war is not good for any country. High global crude prices will inevitably lead to higher inflation and increased interest rates, something a country struggling to overcome the devastating effects of Kovid-19 can do without it. The continuation of the conflict in Ukraine is putting greater strain on India’s new partnerships with the West, which have grown in importance over the past decade. With China becoming a major political and strategic challenge in the region and the wider Indo-Pacific, India cannot afford to undermine such partnerships.

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