Does the UNSC voting auger well for India ?
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The geopolitical situation in the world today is precariously balanced and even the minutest changes may drastically impact the equilibrium. Coupled with the impact of climate changes the world is seeing unprecedented challenges. The heat wave in European nations including the UK, Wildfires, Floods, and Famine situations. In some places and unprecedented rains & mudflows in others have brought untold misery.
The Russian-Ukraine war does not seem to be abating soon. With the onset of winter, just a few weeks away; the US, UK, France, Germany and Most European nations will see a steep demand in their energy needs. Russia seems to be waiting for that moment. It has already made its intentions clear by reducing the Nord gas supplies. Russia today prefers to flare/burn its gas rather than supply it to national consumers apparently in retaliation to the sanctions imposed on it. OPEC is also at its old game of maximising profits by reducing/regulating its produce. Most importing nations have been struggling with their energy bills and they are set to rise. The economy of most nations is under a grave threat; energy deficits are already leading to a strain on most economies. The citizens are getting restive and the leaders are in a quandary. Most have attempted to resolve the War but were unable to do so. Sanctions may have slowed down Russia but have not halted it. Since India imports, almost 80 to 85 per cent of its oil and gas needs it has also suffered the consequences. Till now it has somehow managed while its neighbouring countries have been forced to ask for monetary help. No one disputes the fact that a cautious and extremely careful approach in dealing with the energy scenario is the need of the day. In this context, India’s Vote against Russia for the first time on Wednesday in UNSC regarding a procedural issue in respect of Russia- Ukraine War may well be of great significance. One needs to see whether this act of India will have negative consequences. India has been on a tightrope walk ever since the Russia – Ukraine war started. The practice of neutrality has served India well India till now. Only time will tell what awaits India on the energy front.
However, it’s high time India puts in place a proactive Oil & Gas Strategy instead of always being in the reactive mode. India is very precariously placed with hostile neighbours and the big powers choosing to play games in its neighbourhood. Russia in its current mood may not take kindly to India’s volte-face. India’s Oil Security has been tom to me by almost all Governments but one needs to have practical solutions in place, mere rescue by one global power or the other in emergencies may not be the ideal solution.