The world’s largest democracy and one of its fastest growing economies is a key ally in the U.S.-led coalition to counter China's expansionism.
But India has long-standing ties to Russia, and the war in Ukraine has put the world’s second-most populous country in an uncomfortable position, forced to choose between Moscow and Washington, and instead ending up in the small minority of countries refraining from a formal denunciation.
Lisa Curtis, the former senior director for South and Central Asia at the White House National Security Council, said India’s decision to stay out of the conflict was a short-term calculation.
“India is caught in a contradiction,” said Curtis, who is now the director of the Indo-Pacific Security Program at the Center for a New American Security. “If India thinks by supporting Russia now, that that will somehow gain it Russian support when China starts putting pressure on its borders — I think New Delhi might be mistaken.”
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