Ukraine-Russia war to spark further global uncertainty

By, New Delhi
Jan 05, 2023 03:14 PM IST

During his weeklong visit to Cyprus and Austria, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar found Europe uncertain about the future as Ukraine takes upper hand in the war with Russia. The other worry is Chinese belligerence in Indo-Pacific.

With the 10-month Ukraine war poised to take a turn against Russia due to the deployment of the latest US algorithmic weapon systems, there is uncertainty within Europe over the massive counter from Moscow and its impact on food and energy security as China escalates in Indo-Pacific.

EAM Jaishankar with his Austrian, Czech and Slovak counterparts in Vienna last week.
EAM Jaishankar with his Austrian, Czech and Slovak counterparts in Vienna last week.

It was apparent during External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar’s week-long visit to Cyprus and Austria that Ukraine is now able to reverse the Russian offensive and this could result in a massive Russian counter to save the Donbas and Luhansk territory it has captured in Eastern Ukraine. Due to constant supply of US algorithmic stand-off weapons systems and long-range artillery guns, there is a possibility that Ukraine may even take the war into Russian territory, turning the tables on President Vladimir Putin.

During his visit, EAM Jaishankar met Cyprus, Austrian leadership, Bulgarian President, Czech and Slovak Foreign Ministers apart from DG IAEA Raphael Gossi in Vienna. It is understood that during his interactions with the Eastern European leadership, it was quite evident that the Ukraine war may continue and continue to add to growing instability in Europe.

It is learnt that the EAM Jaishankar’s Cyprus, Austria, Czech and Slovak counterparts perfectly understood India stance on Ukraine war and were appreciative of India’s strong posture to protect its territory from belligerent PLA along the 3488 km Line of Actual Control (LAC). The European Foreign Minister’s understood that India has a legacy hardware relationship with Russia over the past seven decades which cannot be cut-off in a short while due to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. Fact is that more than 60-70 percent of Indian hardware and ammunition is of Russian origin and the two share close ties from the past decades when west led by US decided to place its bets on India’s western and northern adversary. Given the cross-border terrorism India faces from Pakistan and territorial threat from China in the north, India has no options but to continue with its legacy as weapon systems are not replaced in a day but take decades.

According to diplomats in Nicosia and Vienna, EAM Jaishankar’s counterparts and senior leadership were appreciative of the steps taken by the Narendra Modi government to expand Indian economy as well as in battling the Covid global pandemic by not only vaccinating its own population but providing effective vaccines to other countries particularly Global South.

During the visit, the Chinese belligerence in Indo-Pacific was another point of concern among European nations as this could lead to vertical escalation over Taiwan or Japan’s Senkaku Islands or India’s northern borders. Given the explosion of Covid cases in China and its racing economy running out of oxygen, there is a strong possibility that a beleaguered President Xi Jinping may resort to external action to curb growing dissidence in the Communist country.

The European Ministers were also briefed about the ever growing threat of terrorism and radicalization in Af-Pak region with Pakistan based groups continuing to target India, particularly in Jammu and Kashmir. Despite global pressure, Pakistan supported by its iron brother China have been allowing terror factories to operate within the Islamic Republic and are continuing to export terror all over the democratic world.

Get Latest World Newsalong with Latest Newsfrom Indiaat Hindustan Times.

    Author of Indian Mujahideen: The Enemy Within (2011, Hachette) and Himalayan Face-off: Chinese Assertion and Indian Riposte (2014, Hachette). Awarded K Subrahmanyam Prize for Strategic Studies in 2015 by Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (MP-IDSA) and the 2011 Ben Gurion Prize by Israel.

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