Aletho News


Korybko: There’s No Reason For India To Decouple Itself From Russia

By Andrew Korybko | March 1, 2023

As an economic expert, Renuka Sane’s heart might presumably be in the right place, but her suggestion to decouple from Russia is counterproductive from the perspective of India’s grand strategic interests. By following her well-intended advice, India would be abandoning its masterful balancing act between key players in the New Cold War that’s responsible for its rapid rise as a globally significant Great Power over the past year. It would also be voluntarily submitting itself to vassal status vis-à-vis the US-led West’s Golden Billion.

The Print, a popular Indian online media outlet, published an op-ed by Renuka Sane on Wednesday urging her country to decouple from Russia in order to please its Western partners. Titled “India must detach from Russia. Exports, IT, or education, its interests lie with the West”, the research director at Trustbridge, which works on improving the rule of law for better economic outcomes for India, shared plenty of details about Indian-Western economic, financial, and tech ties in order to make her case.

There’s no disputing the fact that these abovementioned relationships are incredibly important for India and far outweigh related ties with Russia. The problem, however, is the innuendo that pervades her text whereby she appears to regularly hint that her country’s Western partners might employ “state coercion” against it in response to Delhi’s defiance of their demand to distance itself from Moscow. The first such example of this is present in the second paragraph of her piece.

Sane writes that “State coercion limits engagement between individuals in two countries. Governments make such decisions based on a balance of economic interests and foreign policy. One arena where this plays out is visa diplomacy. Denial of visas is a lever of international relations and often used as a tool to influence actions by another State.” She then adds near the end of that paragraph that “Trade agreements may sometimes be driven primarily by geopolitical and strategic reasons.”

Sane continues this trend into the third paragraph where she opines that “The energy, support, and prioritisation for all these [Indian-US tech initiatives] on the part of the two governments are shaped by their security environment.” This part can be interpreted as her hinting that the US’ displeasure with the Russian dimension of India’s foreign policy could have consequences for bilateral cooperation, especially in the tech sphere.

Reinforcing this point, the fourth paragraph includes the following insight: “Information Technology is now India’s biggest industry, and the future of the Indian economy is tied to success in this sector. For further doubling of services exports, support and cooperation from Western governments is important.” Sane then adds at the end of the sixth paragraph that “India’s approach to the Ukraine war will shape the extent to which Western governments choose to support India’s services exports growth targets.”

The last two paragraphs more directly convey the implied purpose behind her latest op-ed. This is evidenced by her warning that “If global firms want to exit China on the grounds that it is an authoritarian country hostile to the West, then it is in India’s interest to look ‘un-China’ in the eyes of the world. Our equation and policies vis-a-vis Russia may shape the attitude of these global corporate players.”

Sane then ends her piece on the following ominous note: “India’s economic interests lie with the West, and the latter is extremely worried about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.” Putting everything together and keeping in mind the excerpts that were shared, there’s little doubt that she’s concerned that the West – particularly the US – might punish India for its independent foreign policy towards Russia through economic, financial, and/or tech means, ergo her innuendo that it should ditch Moscow.

As an economic expert, her heart might presumably be in the right place, but her suggestion is counterproductive from the perspective of India’s grand strategic interests. By following her well-intended advice, India would be abandoning its masterful balancing act between key players in the New Cold War that’s responsible for its rapid rise as a globally significant Great Power over the past year. It would also be voluntarily submitting itself to vassal status vis-à-vis the US-led West’s Golden Billion.

India’s hard-earned strategic autonomy would be surrendered in exchange for literally nothing at all since it’s highly unlikely that her implied scenario of that de facto New Cold War bloc punishing her country through the related means that she warned about will ever come to pass. This South Asian Great Power is simply much too important to the Golden Billion for the latter to unilaterally decouple itself from the former for five reasons that will now be summarized.

First, India’s labor and market potentials are too large for the West to ignore, which directly segues into the second point of them envisaging that country functioning as a reliable re-shoring location for gradually reducing their presently disproportionate dependence on Chinese-based supply chains. Third, their support for India’s continued economic growth enhances its comprehensive capabilities to manage China’s rise, which aligns with their de facto New Cold War bloc’s geostrategic interests.

Fourth, no other country has anywhere near the previously mentioned characteristics that India has, meaning that there’s no viable alternative for the West with respect to those related opportunities in the event that they decide to decouple themselves from it as punishment for its foreign policy. And finally, the worst-case scenario that they want to avoid at all costs is pushing India into considering the “Chindia” scenario of combining its potential with China and jointly challenging the West.

That last-mentioned scenario is only foreseeable in the event that the West’s liberalglobalist elite succeed in punishing India for its foreign policy through economic and other means of the sort that Color Revolution mastermind George Soros implied last month are credibly in the cards. His de facto declaration of Hybrid War against India during the Munich Security Conference was alarming, but his more pragmatic and non-ideological peers might still rein him in and prevent this from materializing.

If they can’t, then they risk pushing India into seriously considering synergizing its economic, financial, and tech potential with China, which would deal a deathblow to Western dominance. In any case, this is a choice for the West itself to make and India shouldn’t voluntarily subjugate itself to the Golden Billion’s foreign policy demands out of desperation to avert the scenario of it being punished by them like Sane appears to be strongly suggesting throughout her piece.

Rather, India should maintain its multi-alignment between all key players, but never shy away from signaling to everyone that it always has backup plans in the event that any of them unilaterally decides to worsen their relations for purely zero-sum political reasons. There’s no indication that the West as a whole is seriously considering punishing India for its ties with Russia, Soros’ de facto declaration of Hybrid War against it notwithstanding, but they should still know what would happen if they do.

March 1, 2023 - Posted by | Economics | , ,

1 Comment »

  1. India’s future lies with a rising Global South NOT with a falling Global North whose monetary system is in free fall. The City of London and Wall Street rely on NATO coercion to bully nations that aim for independence from IMF neoColonialism. India has too much to offer civilization without bending a knee in servitude before a has been. The new paradigm has legs thanks to Russia’s obstinance and China’s steadfast commitment to the economic development of the underdevelopment regions of the world.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Thomas Lee Simpson | March 1, 2023 | Reply

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