To be clear, there’s always the chance that the analyzed scenario might fail to unfold for whatever reason, but the relevance in considering it lies in the fact that the New York Times – which is widely regarded as a mouthpiece of the US’ ruling Democrat elite – surprisingly extended credence to this over the weekend.
The New York Times published an intriguing piece on Sunday asking, “Could India Help Broker Peace in Ukraine?” The article stands out for several reasons, not least of which is the fact that it’s a fair assessment of that country’s principled neutrality towards the Ukrainian Conflict that stands in stark contrast to most of the US-led Western Mainstream Media’s (MSM) malicious smears of this policy. The other notable part about it is that the piece reported that France explored joint mediation efforts with India earlier this year. It also revealed that there’s allegedly a proposal in the cards for India, Israel, and the UAE to play a similar role in the future. The takeaway is that India is in a perfect negotiating position.
Nothing about this insight should be surprising to objective observers, especially those who’ve paid attention to President Putin’s recent praise of his newly restored world power’s decades-long strategic partner in South Asia. The Russian leader described Prime Minister Modi as “a true patriot…who is able to pursue independent foreign policy in the interest of his own country and his people” during the Q&A that accompanied his keynote speech at the Valdai Club’s annual meeting late last month. Just last week, he followed up by praising the Indian people during a speech he gave on the occasion of Russia’s Unity Day, describing them as “a talented, very driven people”.
Up until this point, the only country to achieve partial success in its mediation efforts was Turkiye, which brokered the grain deal that Russia resumed its participation in last week after indefinitely suspending such a few days prior following Kiev’s UK-assisted drone terrorist attack against the Black Sea Fleet. That West Asian country, whose leader was also recently praised by President Putin for his independence and pragmatism, also previously hosted peace talks between Kiev and Russia before the UK reportedly sabotaged them. For this reason, observers aren’t wrong to predict that it might once again play a similar such role in the future, but they also shouldn’t discount India’s promising potential either.
The US has very serious qualms about its fellow NATO ally’s ambitions to strengthen its strategic autonomy at this crucial phase of the global systemic transition to multipolarity. There’s not much that this declining unipolar hegemon can do to stop it, but that nevertheless doesn’t mean that it approves. As such, it would prefer to keep Turkiye’s rise as an independent pole of influence in the emerging Multipolar World Order somewhat in check as much as it realistically can. By contrast, despite arrogantly declaring in mid-August that it’ll continue meddling in India’s foreign policy with the declared intent of weakening its strategic ties with Russia, the US is comparatively more favorable to India’s rise.
The reason behind this is self-evident when one takes into consideration those two’s shared interests in managing China’s astronomical rise over the past few decades, particularly with respect to its speculative superpower ambitions. Absent any achievements in successfully coercing India into unilaterally conceding on its objective national interests by cutting its ties with Russia and thus voluntarily submitting to becoming the US’ “junior partner” like Washington wants, which thus far hasn’t happened and likely never will, the only recourse available for American strategists is to shape that South Asian Great Power’s rise as an independent pole of influence in the emerging world order.
To that end, there’s a certain logic inherent in the US tacitly preferring India playing a mediating role between Kiev and Russia in order to accelerate its newfound role in International Relations for the purpose of bolstering its diplomatic capabilities as a so-called “friendly” counterweight to China across the Global South. After all, India is already carefully balancing between the two de facto blocs of the New Cold War: the US-led West’s Golden Billion and the jointly BRICS- and SCO-led Global South of which it’s a part. Not only does this serve the US’ indirect interests for the reasons that were explained, but also Russia’s as well.
Russia relies on India as its irreplaceable valve from Western pressure in order to preemptively avert potentially disproportionate dependence on China, which could risk making it that speculatively aspiring superpower’s “junior partner”. India decisively chose to play this role despite unprecedented Western pressure in order to preemptively avert this aforesaid scenario that its strategists predicted would compel them into voluntarily becoming the US’ “junior partner”, which they’d be forced to seriously countenance in a desperate bid to restore a semblance of balance in Eurasia. Even though the US would prefer for India to play that secondary role, it’s nevertheless beginning to respect its newfound one.
The New York Times’ latest piece is evidence of its gradually changing attitude since it’s becoming apparent that the US might ultimately accept India playing a mediating role between its Ukrainian proxy and Russia. The strategic calculus inherent in this approach is that it would accelerate India’s rise as a “friendly” diplomatic counterweight to China across the Global South, which is in Russia’s interests too as was touched upon in the preceding paragraph. While Moscow also has an interest in Turkiye accelerating its similar such rise as an independent pole of influence in the emerging world order, Washington is unlikely to facilitate this even if it’s largely powerless to stop it if this ends up happening.
The purely coincidental confluence of grand strategic interests between the US and Russia over India’s potentially forthcoming role in mediating a political solution to the Ukrainian Conflict, which is actually a NATO proxy war on Russia through Ukraine, speaks to that South Asian Great Power’s rising influence in International Relations at this historic moment in the global systemic transition. To be clear, there’s always the chance that the analyzed scenario might fail to unfold for whatever reason, but the relevance in considering it lies in the fact that the New York Times – which is widely regarded as a mouthpiece of the US’ ruling Democrat elite – surprisingly extended credence to this over the weekend.
That in turn shows that it’s presumably being discussed at the highest levels of America’s policymaking apparatus precisely for the reasons that were explained in the present piece. After failing to force India into voluntarily becoming its “junior partner”, the US seems to have realized that it should instead seek to accelerate its rise as a “friendly” diplomatic counterweight to China across the Global South, which could be advanced by having it mediate a political solution to the Ukrainian Conflict. That also serves Russia’s interests as well since Moscow seeks the same for its own reasons, thus leading to a curious state of affairs whereby Presidents Putin and Biden might finally have found some common ground.
Seems more likely any negotiations will be brokered by Turkey.
I don't expect any for another 6 months.