Indian Prime Minister recently attended the plenary session of the 21st St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in Russia. During the session while asked by the host NBC’s Megyn Kelly about Russian interference in the US Presidential elections the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin apart from talking about the US Intelligence community paused for a moment and took the opportunity to talk about the level of sovereignty that countries around the world exercise.
Worldwide there are not many countries that have the privilege of sovereignty. I wouldn’t like to offend anyone… that sovereignty is limited. And inside the military alliance it is officially limited. Their charters prescribe all prohibitions. And in practice it’s even stricter and more stringent; nothing is permitted but for what is allowed, and who allows that – the leadership (that is far away). So globally there are not many countries wielding sovereignty. And we have been protecting our sovereignty to the fact that we have our sovereignty. We can enjoy that foolishly but sovereignty is needed to defend our interests, it’s not a toy we needed to have our own development.
However, than Putin turned to the Indian Prime Minister sitting beside him and addressed him directly with regards to the threat to India’s sovereignty.
India has their own sovereignty. They hold it and possess it and I will tell the Honorable Prime Minister, I never told him although last night we had lengthy talks and a one-on-one dinner but I want to tell him right now – We know the position of the Indian Prime Minister and the Indian leadership and the Indian state with respect to all the attempts to incline India to occupy a position that would be favorable to someone but not to the Indian people (and against Russia). India, basing on their own sovereignty and in the character of a leader and the national interest (should) not let astray by those requirements and those who give this advice. But there are not so many countries like India worldwide, this is true and we must be aware of that. India is one of such countries, China maybe cited as another example and there are some other countries not numerous though. And if such attempts to guide someone, to dictate their will to someone from inside or outside the country will continue they will be detrimental to international affairs but I reiterate in closing this response this will come to an end sooner or later.
The serious issue that Putin had raised was further elaborated by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov during a committee meeting on solidarity and cooperation with Asian and Africa nations, in Moscow just two weeks after the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum was held.
During the conference, Lavrov underlined that “Russia traditionally has supported the aspiration of the Asian and African people, to decide their destiny independently”, and noted that “the desire to take destiny into one’s own hands is growing stronger.”
The Russian Foreign Minister further added:
This position was also manifested in the era of the struggle against colonialism. It manifests itself now. We know that many our Western partners are trying to turn these regions into territories of geopolitical confrontation pushing for unilateral solutions. (They) try to impose their adopted approaches to the internal problems of others. We know how hard it is to resist that taking into account the financial, economic and a number of other circumstances. And yet, we see that the desire to take destiny into one’s own hands is growing stronger. We stand in solidarity with this, Russia has followed this approach for many years.
We are very pleased that all our countries – Russia and all countries of Asia and Africa, together with most Latin American countries are supporters of multipolarity. And all our countries voted for the very important resolution, which the [UN] General Assembly approved last December. This resolution aims to promote the formation of a more justified and democratic world order. All the basic principles that our countries share are reflected in it. The resolution prevents interference in the internal affairs of sovereign states. It also reflects the importance to respect the right of nations to choose their own destiny. In addition, it rules out the attempts to change regimes through state coups or impose their national laws and approaches extraterritorially.
Those countries that have called the tune in international affairs for several centuries, they are reluctant to give up this role, although objectively they can no longer do this, as they did in previous eras. But we and I know that your countries share these positions, we do not try to defend our interests through confrontation. Our cause is certainly fair. This is understandable to everyone, and we want a consensus in international relations.
What the President of Russia and its Foreign Minister are referring to is India’s tilt and closeness to, according to a recent study – the network of global corporate control that can be termed the Global Oligarchy. It is this tilt that is inviting geopolitical confrontations into India dragging India more and more into the conflicts of other nations. It is precisely to avoid this ‘fight for global dominance’ being imported into their countries that the Non Alignment Movement came into existence. India has historically been the founder and leader of NAM leading the third world countries and creating a power bloc in itself. India has sent a strong signal in choosing to skip the last NAM summit held in Venezuela. This was the first NAM summit that was not attended by an Indian PM, except for 1979 when caretaker PM Charan Singh skipped the summit in Havana.
However still, it is not too late and the nations of the world still look up to India in this post-crisis world to lead them forward. The only question is who will lead India?