In a move that will have a significant bearing on the evolving global order, Finland on Tuesday joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) as its 31st member. Finnish president Sauli Niinisto suggested it was “a great day for Finland” and NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg called it a proud day for him and the alliance.
The ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine, visibly evident in the bloody fighting in the Ukrainian town of Bakhmut, has again drawn attention to the constant – war is the ultima ratio or the supreme arbiter in international politics. International politics takes place in the shadow of war, and force in international politics is timeless, remaining a viable instrument of statecraft.There are six key takeaways for India from the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
The developing world has a big stake in the early end to the war. Global uncertainty and higher prices weaken growth and export momentum. Sustained divisions risk sanctions that a country like India can trip over. The war increases the risk of climate change. War, said Carl von Clausewitz, is continuation of politics by other means. That is pithy, but ignores the economics. War is immensely profitable for quite a few parties. Let us take a bird's eye view of the Ukraine war - clear-eyed is all that counts, not if the bird in question is hawk, dove or raven.
For all the pomp and ceremony at last week’s Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, its defining image is likely to be Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging Russian President Vladimir Putin to seek peace in Ukraine, telling the Russian leader that “today’s era is not one for war.”
The SCO Summit is a good opportunity for the leaders to take stock of the regional and global challenges and enhance cooperation in addressing the common goals and objectives in a concerted manner.
A certain narrative is building up in the West, in which India is being portrayed as a villain, along with China, in the ongoing war in Ukraine. A recent article in The New York Times read ‘In Russia’s War, China and India emerge as Financiers’. This is more than disingenuous, and it is vital for things to be put in perspective.
Russia, the largest exporter of wheat in the world, must be allowed to export its grain, to cool food prices and interest rates, and boost global growth.