Will India turn against its old ally?

If Boris Johnson was feeling a little unloved at home, perhaps his arrival in India was the pick-me-up he needed, Andrew Woodcock said The Independent. In the Gujarati city of Ahmedabad, the prime minister was “literally rolled out the red carpet.”

At the airport he was greeted by a delegation “loaded with so many bouquets of red roses” that a cart was needed to take the flowers away afterwards. He was then driven to his hotel through streets lined with billboards showing his own face 20 feet above the inscription “Welcome to Gujarat.”

trade agreements were at the center of the visitsaid Kapil Komireddi im Daily Mailbut there was one big “obstacle”: the war in Ukraine, and India’s consistent refusal to condemn Russia’s invasion or impose sanctions on Moscow. In truth, Johnson didn’t come home with much to show for his trip, Heather Stewart said in The guard. Although he welcomed the prospect of a free trade agreement, talks have been going on for months.

There was the usual announcement of new investment projects, but on the critical issue of Ukraine, Downing Street has signaled that Johnson does not expect to influence India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi – and it is reasonable to tone down expectations, he said The Independent. India’s trade with Moscow helps fund Russia’s war machine, but it’s hard to ask New Delhi to reduce its oil imports when Germany still buys Russian gas in “huge amounts”; and India may feel it has much to lose by alienating Russia — a superpower with which it has had close ties since the Cold War.

India has long benefited from its partnership with Russia, Kaush Arha said in the Hindustan times: For years Moscow has been supporting India at the UN over Kashmir and supplying it with most of its arms. Indeed, “India’s Arms Dependency [on Russia] is more entrenched than Europe’s energy dependency’. That makes it difficult to break the habit, but “must break the habit” as geopolitical tides are shifting, pushing Russia ever closer to China — a “totalitarian” state that is India’s “primary threat.”

If the West “wants to break India’s silence on Russia’s crimes,” Roger Boyes said in The times, she must convince Modi that she has “not forgotten the long-term threat posed by China”. India saw the logic in joining the quad alliance with the US, Japan and Australia to contain China; but at the moment there is no point in joining an anti-Russian alliance. Sure, say the Indians, it would only drive Putin further into China’s arms, “and who’s benefit from that? Neither India nor the West.” Will India turn against its old ally?

Fry Electronics Team

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