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Russia's war on Ukraine roils South Asian geopolitics

India will find it harder to balance relations between the US and Russia, even as the latter warms up to Pakistan.

Police officers standing guard near the Russian Embassy in New Delhi on Feb 25, 2022. PHOTO: AFP
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Fifty years ago this week, US president Richard Nixon's summit with Chinese leader Mao Zedong transformed the geopolitical landscape of Asia. In the subcontinent, the new entente between America and China pushed India closer to the Soviet Union and muddied its longstanding policy of non-alignment.

Russia's invasion of Ukraine this week is bound to have consequences for Asia. Nowhere is the impact more immediate than in South Asia. The acute political discomfort of India - one of Moscow's longstanding Asian partners - at the Russian invasion of Ukraine is evident. It is caught between its old partner Russia and its recently acquired friend, the United States. Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan's meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin this week underlines the attempt to construct a new regional partnership between Islamabad and Moscow that adds to India's discomfort.

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