Dr. Rahis Singh. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Europe has come to an end at a time when the world is in solstice and the world is facing new challenges. The COVID-19 pandemic is not over yet. Its effects are yet to last. Therefore, there was a need for the world to work together for peace, prosperity and security by defeating its challenges, but the Russo-Ukraine war has pushed it to the background and put forward new challenges. This war is creating such a dividing line from where the ‘Neo Cold War’ (New Cold War) can begin again, whatever the outcome of the war. Taking a closer look, India not only understood these circumstances well, but it also carefully tread a fine line of neutrality on the Russo-Ukraine War.

This is also the beauty of Indian foreign policy and perhaps the need of the world. During this visit, Prime Minister Modi was to ‘reboot relations’ established between the two countries in sync with Germany’s neo-commercial policies, reviewing the progress of ‘Green Strategic Partnership’ with the Nordic countries and adding value to it. All measures were to be found and a strategy was to be made to take forward the established ‘formidability’ and ‘compatibility’ based relations with France. The road ahead in the midst of Europe’s slightly changed mood regarding the Ukraine war was also a somewhat different challenge than usual.

India becoming a decisive power: In fact, a dividing line was seen to be drawn between the world in the midst of the Russo-Ukraine war, but that dividing line is not straight and simple, but geo-political, geo-strategic and geo-economic. It has more or less been able to show that NATO and Russia-China are showing clear signs of being more or less two poles. In other words, the dragon-bear (indicators of the Sino-Russian economies in the BRIC concept) and the renminbi-ruble chemistry has moved in a consequential direction. In the times to come, this chemistry is likely to overshadow the dollar-euro bonding. India seems to be a decisive force among them.

This is the reason why both are looking towards India. The countries of America and Europe want that India should not remain neutral in this war, but India is moving forward with ‘India-centred diplomacy’. Therefore, India is taking every decision keeping the interests of the country at the center. India also knows that leaning towards or joining any one camp will complicate the war, making the road to peace more difficult. Although America and European countries also know this, but their objectives are different. Some analysts and diplomats may criticize Indian policies or try to put pressure on India, as it seems to be happening. They may even argue that the era of absolutism is over, so you have to choose a side.

Ukraine is the only pawn: It is true that the era of absolutism is over, but there is still a need to bridge the many skewed dividing lines on the global geopolitical spectrum. Instead of deepening or widening them by joining one side. India is doing the same thing. The problem with America and Europe is that they are trying to set the narrative that Russia is responsible for this war by covering many realities. So India should condemn Russia, but since the start of the war, India kept itself away from condemning Russian actions. Not only this, India also increased the purchase of cheap Russian oil.

It is hurting Europe, because Europe is in the opposite direction in this respect. It is working with the US to strengthen international protests against Russia and cut energy purchases. For this reason, some European countries are criticizing India in a suppressed voice, but the question arises whether European countries are really taking appropriate steps? If so, when would the war have ended? Actually they are only opposing Russia. The simple and simple reason behind this is that they do not want to see or accept Russia as a power. Anyway, in the last decade of the last century, he has made strategic propaganda by formulating the theory of ‘end of the history’ (the end of history).

In such a situation, they cannot accept Russia to appear or try to appear as a power. If we analyze the Russo-Ukraine war closely, it will become clear that the real area of ​​the war being fought between Russia-Ukraine lies elsewhere. Truly this war is a war fought between Russia and NATO powers to establish dominance over Eastern Europe, the South Caucasus and Eurasia. Those areas will be dominated by the one who will be victorious in this war, whether it is Russia or NATO country. Ukraine is just a pawn or rather Ukraine is just a field for this new geopolitical battle. In the true sense, Ukraine can only be a loser, not a beneficiary.

Emergence of new ideas in relations between India and Germany: For the time being, India stood on its stand and with this the Prime Minister’s European visit came to an end. In the Angela Merkel era, India-Germany relations had reached a natural and strategic partnership. Olaf Schulz is to make the same commitment, but it will depend on what the new German chancellor’s priorities are going to be. It was during Merkel’s time that new ideas emerged in the relations between India and Germany and the Inter-Governmental Consultative System (IGC) played a major role in this.

It is noteworthy that this is an established platform for direct dialogue between the two countries, which was started in the year 2011. Although there is a lot of potential for taking the relationship between India and Germany forward, they still seem to be standing at a turning point in giving new heights to the relationship. Germany, however, is not averse to admitting that no major problem can be solved without India (statement by Tobias Lindner, junior minister in the German Foreign Ministry during his visit to India). The minister also said during the Raisina Dialogue that we want to cooperate with India on technology, education, security and climate change. India is a very important ally. During this visit, German Chancellor Olaf Schulz, in a meeting with Prime Minister Modi and cabinet members, announced to spend 10 billion euros on cooperation with India in the coming years. During this, Germany and India signed 14 agreements of mutual cooperation. There is a strong focus on sustainable development and clean energy. In fact, the Prime Minister’s visit can be seen as an opportunity to reboot Indo-German relations.

India-Denmark relations in the next stage: The Prime Minister reached Denmark on the next leg of the visit. It is noteworthy that the foundation of diplomatic relations between India and Denmark was laid in the year 1957. At that time the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru had visited Denmark. The two countries enjoy cordial and friendly relations with cooperation in economic, political, educational, energy and research fields. In September 2020, India and Denmark ushered in a new era of ‘Green Strategic Partnership’ with far-reaching goals. Because this is the time to find permanent solutions related to climate change and other global problems. From this point of view, India-Denmark (India-Nordic) relations can be considered decisive. The Prime Minister has also given a message from Copenhagen that while both countries share values ​​like democracy and rule of law, we have complementary strengths as well. Importantly, there was tremendous chemistry between Prime Minister Modi and the Danish Prime Minister, which will go a long way in taking India-Denmark relations forward.

New Delhi’s special place in the strategic equation of Paris: As far as Indo-French relations are concerned, France is India’s major strategic partner in the European continent. The strategic partnership between the two countries started in 1998. Since then, many dimensions have been added to it with continuity. The characteristic of the established multi-faceted relations between India and France is that while New Delhi occupies a special place in the strategic equation of Paris on the one hand, there is also a feeling of rare strategic ease with each other on the other.

However, in the midst of emerging global challenges, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Europe can be considered valuable not only in terms of rebooting bilateral ties and balancing multilateral ties, but also in the context of India’s involvement in the Russia-Ukraine war. The stand he has taken is completely justified.

Russia fulfills India’s defense needs: Amidst the war with Ukraine, Russia has decided to deliver the third batch of state-of-the-art S-400 missile defense systems to the Indian Air Force next month. A total of five S-400 defense systems are to be received by the Indian Air Force from Russia by the coming year. Russia had given its second consignment to India last month in the midst of the Ukraine conflict. India has deployed the first consignment of S-400 missile defense system received from Russia in Punjab. It is known that the whole world is afraid of this Russian missile defense system being included in India’s defense fleet. With the supply of this long-range surface-to-air missile defense system, it will be easier for India to face the challenges of China and Pakistan. This missile defense system can target multiple targets simultaneously and destroy enemy fighter aircraft and helicopters etc. This missile system can hit up to 400 km. Its speed is faster than the speed of sound.

Edited By: Sanjay Pokhriyal