When asked for India’s official assessment of the events in Ukraine, National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon responded:
“We hope that whatever internal issues there are within Ukraine are
settled peacefully, and the broader issues of reconciling various
interests involved, and there are legitimate Russian and other interests
involved…. We hope those are discussed, negotiated and that there is a
satisfactory resolution to them.”
The statement was made on the same day that Crimea’s parliament voted to hold a referendum for secession from Ukraine.
Local Indian media noted that Menon’s statement about
Russia’s legitimate interests in Ukraine made it the first major nation
to publicly lean toward Russia. As my colleague Shannon has reported throughout the week, many of China’s public statements could be interpreted as backing Russia in Ukraine, despite Beijing’s own concerns about ethnic breakaway states and its principle of non-interference.
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