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Does India support Russia's invasion of Ukraine?

While many countries have condemned Russia's invasion of Ukraine, India has taken a more neutral stance and has yet to announce plans to sanction on Russia.

While many countries have condemned Russia's invasion of Ukraine, India has taken a more neutral stance and has yet to announce plans to sanction on Russia.

The impact of sanctions on Russia have begun to ripple across the world. One market trying to mitigate the possible effects within their own markets is India.

India thus far has taken a much more neutral stance that the United States and its European allies. The country has not sent weapons to Ukraine but rather provided humanitarian assistance and has called for a ceasefire. On March 24,  the Ministry of External Affairs "expressed deep concern at the worsening situation and called for immediate cessation of violence and end to all hostilities."

At the United Nations, India has abstained from many key votes condemning the actions taken by Russian President Vladimir Putin. The stance taken towards the issue is similar to China. Both countries have in recent days, declared their desire for the fighting to stop and for a ceasefire to be reached. The ties between China and India who have strengthened since the invasion began, and the Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, will make a stop in New Delhi on Friday.

At the time of the invasion, there were around 20,000 students residing in Ukraine. In the weeks leading up to Russia's attack more than 4,000 Indian nationals had already left the country.

Has Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoken with the Ukrainian and Russian leaders?

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi has spoke with both Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and President Putin on two occasions. Both calls took place on 26 February and 7 March. When speaking to President Putin on his most recent call he encouraged the Russian leader to meet with President Zelenskyy to expedite the possibilities of peace.

The Ukrainian leader has called for direct talks with the President Putin, but such requests have denied by the Kremlin.

Has India imposed sanctions on Russia?

As of Friday 25 March, India had not imposed sanctions on the Kremlin or Russian business leaders.

CNBC has reported that according to one Indian export association, Russia and India are currently planning to exchange currencies. This move will allow Russia to bypass US and EU sanctions, to some extent. Much of global trade is conducted in US dollars and this move will allow trade between the two nations to continue.

The sanctions imposed on the Russian banking system require more than 100,000 Indian exporters to establish a new payment mechanism, an unprecedented move within global trade relations. The new rupee-ruble mechanism is still being planned and so far there has been no response from the United States who has warned other countries against the undercutting of the sanctions they impose. 


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