Monday, October 2, 2023

Mint Explainer: How the India-Ukraine relationship turned sour

Mykhailo Podolyak, who heads the office of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, caused significant outrage after he claimed in an interview that Indians had “weak intellectual potential”. The comments, made after the G20 Summit in New Delhi, reflected Ukraine’s wider frustration with India’s position on its war with Russia. Mint takes a closer look at the tensions roiling the India-Ukraine relationship.

What did Podolyak say?

Podolyak was speaking about the rise of powers such as India and China. During the interview he accused the two countries of having “weak intellectual potential”.

“What’s the problem with China, India, etc… they are not able to analyse the consequences of their actions. These countries have low intellectual potential, unfortunately. Yes, they invest in science. Yes, India has launched a lunar rover recently which is now trekking on the surface of the Moon, but that does not indicate that this country fully comprehends what the modern world is about,” Podolyak said.

What’s the background to his remarks?

Ukrainian officials have made no secret of the fact that they would like India to do more in support of its war against Russia. However, they have so far been disappointed. India has not directly condemned Russia for invading Ukraine, nor has it been a major player in the sanctions levelled against Moscow. In fact, India has been a major buyer of Russian oil since the Ukraine war began. It also did not invite President Zelensky to the New Delhi G20 Summit.

Have Ukrainian officials voiced their dissatisfaction before?

Indeed. Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba accused India of benefiting from the suffering of Ukraine in a 2022 interview with NDTV. “The opportunity for India to buy Russian oil at a cheap price comes from the fact that Ukrainians are suffering from Russian aggression and dying every day,” he said at the time.

“If you benefit because of our suffering, it would be good to see more of your help addressed to us,” he added. Kuleba also asked India to directly call Russia out for its “aggression against Ukraine”.

Has India provided any support to Ukraine?

India has sent several consignments of humanitarian aid to Ukraine. During the visit of Ukraine’s deputy foreign minister to India in April, New Delhi also committed to providing school buses to Ukraine. It also quietly attended the Ukraine Recovery Conference in June, which was aimed at aiding Ukraine’s reconstruction. India has also called for an end to hostilities and offered to mediate the dispute.

#Mint #Explainer #IndiaUkraine #relationship #turned #sour

Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest Articles