3. Do you think the shifting global focus towards Europe as a fallout of ongoing Ukraine crisis can create a security void in the Indo-Pacific region? What will be its possible implications for India? Discuss. (15 Marks)
क्या आपको लगता है कि मौजूदा यूक्रेन संकट के परिणाम के रूप में यूरोप की ओर बढ़ता वैश्विक ध्यान भारत–प्रशांत क्षेत्र में सुरक्षा शून्य पैदा कर सकता है? भारत के लिए इसके संभावित निहितार्थ क्या होंगे? चर्चा करें।
Candidates need to give their views on the possibility of shifting global focus towards Europe as a fallout of ongoing Ukraine crisis in creating a security void in the Indo-Pacific region. Also discuss be its possible implications for India.
The war in Ukraine and the ensuing economic sanctions imposed on Russia will cause far bigger shifts for Europe’s economy and markets than previous crises like the coronavirus pandemic. Inflation, reduced growth, and in some countries even another recession is just some of the risks facing the economies of emerging Europe as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The shifting global focus towards Europe as a fallout of ongoing Ukraine crisis and creation of a security void in the Indo-Pacific region
- In light of Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, European leaders have been forced to rapidly accelerate plans to reduce their outsized dependence on Russian energy.
- Attention has focused on the sea change in European attitudes to security threats, the defence spending that Russia’s aggression has produced, and the sobering challenge Russia’s invasion poses to accepted international rules and norms.
- But the Ukraine crisis has wider implications, affecting the Indo-Pacific region.
- Although the crisis in Ukraine directly affects European security, its effects will ripple across the Indo-Pacific region.
- China is unlikely to follow Russia’s power play and attack any of its neighbours any time soon.
- However, Russia’s willingness to wage open war on Ukraine will weigh on the minds of Asian policymakers as they make decisions about boosting their own defence spending, seeking security guarantees from the U.S., and joining multilateral security coalitions.
- The war in Ukraine, now in its seventh week, defence cooperation and several other aspects that are at the heart of the bilateral ties emerged as the focus at the talks that come as the world grapples with challenges emerging due to one of the worst wars in Europe in decades and the pandemic that started two years ago.
- Russia’s action has highlighted the limits of NATO’s reach and resolve in the European theatre, leaving one wondering how far NATO, or its member states, would be willing to involve themselves in a conflict in the Indo-Pacific region where most Western nations have fewer stakes.
Its possible implications for India
- India has become adept at balancing its relationships with major powers such as the U.S., China and Russia.
- Rapidly expanding ties and growing defence relationship between India and US, and India joining QUAD group led by the US has led to a strategic shift in Russia’s foreign policy, pushing it to align with China.
- It also has a trilateral relationship with the U.S. and Japan and another one with Russia and China.
- India has been recently diversifying its defence relations with US, Israel, etc, leading to a reduction in Russia’s share of Indian defence imports.
- Both India and Russia have a difference of opinion in understanding the concept of the Indo-Pacific.
- Russia opposes the term Indo-Pacific as the term is primarily a US-led initiative aimed to contain China and Russia.
- Russia does not accept the concept of QUAD. Instead, Russia supports the concept of Asia Pacific.
The Indo-Pacific strategy may be an afterthought as the Ukrainian crisis unfolds. Nevertheless, the conflict in Europe will have a bearing on how Asian policymakers think about their own security in the wake of Chinese assertiveness and Beijing’s sovereignty claims in Asia. India should pursue and facilitate Russia’s engagement in the Indo-Pacific. Russia’s active engagement in the region would contribute to making the Indo-Pacific truly “free and inclusive”.