Kiev’s Hyperbolic Criticism Of India’s Russian Oil Purchases Won’t Make Any Difference
Ukrainian Foreign Ministry Dmitry Kuleba is just embarrassing himself with his latest temper tantrum aimed at guilting India into unilaterally conceding on its objective national interests vis a vis Russia when not even the entire US-led West’s Golden Billion was capable of achieving this goal over the past ten months.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba lashed out at India for its Russian oil purchases earlier this week in a repeat of mid-August’s episode when he claimed over the summer that “[its] discount has to be paid with Ukrainian blood.” This time he remixed his prior words to allege that “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.”
His first outburst nearly a quarter-year ago was arguably encouraged by his US patrons, but this one came after White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre praised India for its indispensable role at last month’s G20 and following the new American charge d’affaires in Delhi confirming her host’s sovereign right to purchase such discounted resources. It can thus be intuited that Kuleba is acting on his own prerogative this time around, but his hyperbolic criticism wouldn’t make any difference either way.
That’s because India is now a globally significant Great Power after masterfully reacting to the chaotic consequences of the Ukrainian Conflict to position itself as the kingmaker in the New Cold War. Intrepid readers can learn more about how this came to be by reviewing the first hyperlinked analysis in the preceding sentence, but the primary takeaway for average members of the audience is that the US-led West’s Golden Billion all but admitted that it’s impossible to coerce India into going against its interests.
Instead of continuing to double down on that proven-to-fail policy that repeatedly produced nothing of tangible significance for that de facto New Cold War bloc, its American leader pragmatically chose to signal over the past month that it’s ready to practice a much more productive policy. To that end, it’s basically given up pressuring India in any meaningful way even though some of its perception management platforms will likely keep doing so due to ideology and/or inertia.
In any case, the point is that Kuleba is just embarrassing himself with his latest temper tantrum aimed at guilting India into unilaterally conceding on its objective national interests vis a vis Russia when not even the entire US-led West’s Golden Billion was capable of achieving this goal over the past ten months. He should have just remained silent in the face of Delhi pledging to continue importing discounted Russian oil but instead seemingly felt like he could make a so-called “principled stand” in the eyes of the world.
This isn’t being done from a position of confidence or strength but from one of uncertainty and weakness after Kiev started questioning why its foreign patrons would allow India to get away scot-free with its discounted Russian oil imports despite their prior political goal of destroying this relationship. There’s no doubt in the minds of the Ukrainian leadership that the US’ pragmatic turn signals a tacit policy defeat that’s indisputably to Russia’s benefit, which can’t help but make them feel uncomfortable.
They were so hyped up over the months into thinking that the West would continuing doing their utmost to isolate Russia and ruthlessly punishing all those who refuse to bend to their will that India’s brave resistance in successfully defending its objective national interests came as a total shock to Kiev. This mindset explains Kuleba’s ridiculous reaction that clearly wasn’t coordinated with his American overlord, which suggests that a degree of panic is creeping into the Ukrainian leadership.
That said, it would be similarly hyperbolic to imply that this signals that the West is preparing to dump Kiev since nothing of the sort is in the cards as proven by that de facto New Cold War bloc’s continued provisioning of funds, logistical support, and military equipment. Nevertheless, their decision to pragmatically relieve their prior pressure upon India shouldn’t be dismissed either since this was a major victory for the emerging Multipolar World Order of which that South Asian state is a leading force.