Shashi Tharoor says India's position on Russia-Ukraine evolved a little bit as...
Shashi Tharoor said India's position on Russia-Ukraine has been a bit of a tightrope dance because of several reasons and New Delhi has been diplomatically successful to make its position understandable.
Congress MP and a former UN undersecretary-general Shashi Tharoor on Tuesday said India's stand on the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine has been a bit of dancing on a tightrope as New Delhi, in the beginning, was indeed unwilling to say anything that will upset Moscow. But over time, India has become more vocal against Russia, Tharoor observed noting that India's situation was precarious also because there were over 20,000 Indian citizens in Ukraine.
Shashi Tharoor says he expects India now may calibrate its steps with all Indians having been pulled out of the war zone. But India's position has been seen by the world with proper understanding and Indian diplomacy has been effective in ensuring that, Tharoor said as he took part in a photo exhibition on Ukraine.
"India has gone through a very complicated and challenging time in negotiating as it were its own stand on the (Ukraine-Russia) crisis. There is no doubt that India in its very first statement seemed to be a little unwilling to say anything that the Russians will be upset about," he said.
"In our subsequent statements while we have continued to abstain at UN, we have been a little more vocal on reiterating the principles and our diplomacy has taken into account the multifarious interests we have to look after," he added.
Explaining why India can't antagonise Russia, Tharoor said, "We are a member of Quad and we don't want US to take its eyes off the Indo-Pacific and focus purely on Europe. And then with Ukraine itself, we had to pull out 23,000 Indian citizens, mainly students, in the first few weeks. So, because of all these interests, there is a bit of dancing on a tightrope."
The Russia-Ukraine crisis has been going on for over a month now and in the latest development, Russia has announced de-escalation in and around Kyiv. Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov is scheduled to visit New Delhi, as other top US and UK officials are also believed to be coming to India.
"He will have a tough cause to defend and I am sure the talks that he is going to have in New Delhi will be very interesting," Tharoor said.
(With PTI inputs)