New Delhi: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday supported the Narendra Modi-led government’s ‘neutral stance’ on the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, despite the pressure it feels from the West. During his interaction with the Indian students at the Stanford University Campus in California, he said that India ‘has to look for its own interest’ at the end of the day.
“We have a relationship with Russia, we have certain dependencies on Russia. So, I would have a similar stance as the Government of India,” Rahul Gandhi said in response to a question when asked does he supports India’s neutral stance on Russia.
He added that India is a big enough country whereby it generally will have relationships with other countries. It’s not so small and dependent that it will have a relationship with one and nobody else, he said.
“We will always have these types of relationships. We will have better relationships with some people, evolving relationships with other people. So that balance is there,” the former Congress president, who is in the US for a three-city tour, said.
It is noteworthy that India has abstained from the UN resolutions on Ukraine and consistently underlined the need to respect the UN Charter, international law, and the sovereignty and territorial integrity of states. India, however, has also consistently underlined that in the ongoing conflict, the entire Global South has suffered ‘substantial collateral damage’ and that the developing countries are facing the brunt of the conflict’s consequences on food, fuel, and fertilizer supplies.
He also supported a strong relationship between India and the United States and underscored the importance of manufacturing and both countries collaborating in emerging fields like data and artificial intelligence.
Simply focusing on the security and defence aspect of this bilateral relationship is not enough, Gandhi said.
India, China relationship is going to be ‘tough’
During his interaction, Rahul Gandhi also asserted that India cannot be pushed around by China as he underlined that the relationship between the two neighbours is going to be ‘tough’ and not an easy one.
“How do you see the India-China relationship evolving in the next 5-10 years?” Gandhi was asked, to which he replied, “It’s tough right now. I mean, they’ve occupied some of our territory. It’s rough. It’s not too easy (a relationship).”
“India cannot be pushed around. That something is not going to happen,” he added.
India and China are also locked in a lingering border standoff in eastern Ladakh for three years. The bilateral relationship came under severe strain following the deadly clash in Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh in June 2020.