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A New Policy Doctrine Unveiled

Russia shall increase its contacts with India and China in the coming days. Nearly seven months after invading neighbouring Ukraine, President Vladimir Putin has revealed his future plan while declaring Moscow’s Humanitarian Policy. In a 31-page document dubbed a Humanitarian Policy, the Kremlin has made it official doctrine to “protect, safeguard and advance the traditions and ideals of the Russian World“.

Since 1991, Russian Diplomacy has been a confused one. The Russian invasion of Ukraine has made it more complex. In the current situation, President Putin’s announcement can be considered as a message of creating a new axis. Since the Soviet days, the Kremlin has been maintaining cordial ties with India. Later, Russia became a friend of China. However, India and China have been involved in a border crisis for the last six decades. At the same time, India depends on Russia for defence equipment.

Although the Cold War between Moscow and Washington DC ended with the collapse of the erstwhile Soviet Union, Russia has become an enemy of the US, yet again, due to the situation in Ukraine. Again, India has come closer to the US in the last few decades, and a mutual dependence has also developed in the defence and commercial sectors. With the US treating Russia and its allies as enemies, it has seemingly become difficult for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to balance his foreign policy.

After the Russian invasion of Ukraine, India initially abstained from voting on several resolutions brought by the Western world, including the US, against Russian aggression at the UN Security Council, General Assembly and Human Rights Council. Since February 24 (2022), New Delhi has been requesting the Russian and Ukrainian sides to return to the path of diplomacy and dialogue, expressing its support for all diplomatic efforts to end the conflict. However, India, for the first time, voted against Russia during a Procedural Vote at the UNSC on the current situation in Ukraine on August 24. In such a scenario, the Russian Strongman’s announcement is considered significant.

President Putin has also announced that Moscow would boost cooperation with countries in the Balkans, Latin America, West Asia and Africa, in addition to India and China. Significantly, he mentioned the contexts of Ossetia and Abkhazia (the two disputed territories in the Caucasus), separately. The Russians are the majority in those areas that come under the former Soviet Republic of Georgia. Just like Donetsk and Luhansk (in Ukraine), pro-Moscow armed militia groups are active in Ossetia and Abkhazia. An angry Russia had invaded Georgia in the 1990s after the Georgian Government Forces launched a military campaign against those groups. Georgia had reportedly received help from the West. In fact, the Jewish quarters of Ossetia had requested the Kremlin to intervene, while the road from Russia were blocked by Georgia. Many dark soldiers were killed at that period of time.

Just before invading Ukraine, Russia (as well as Venezuela, Nicaragua, Nauru and Syria) recognised both Ossetia and Abkhazia as Independent States. Diplomats are of the opinion that Georgia might be the new target of President Putin.

However, the Russian President claimed that bolstering Moscow’s influence abroad would “strengthen on the international stage its image as a Democratic country striving for the creation of a multi-polar world“.

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