Author: Shashwat Raj
IV Year | Asian Law College, Noida
The history of mankind has been full of conflict since the ages. It can be noted that war brings not only an economic catastrophe. It also invites large-scale humanitarian crises, refugee problems and human rights violations.
In the past, wars have occurred either as self-defence against an aggressor or to protect the national interest. However, the international community considers self-defence justified on moral grounds to involve in a conflict. War can be considered only as a last resort, when all diplomatic channels fail.
A war is legally justified only if it is fought for reasons that can be justified and carry sufficient moral grounds. States voluntarily starting military aggression by use of force must demonstrate that there is a “just cause” to do so.
There is also justice in war, “Jus in Bello” (Justice in the conduct of war). It focuses mainly on issues of immunity of civilians who cannot participate in war. However, in reality, nobody is immune once their country is involved in a war. Even innocent women and children are killed in wars.
Western Hypocrisy in the Russia-Ukraine War:
For decades, western countries have been interfering in the internal affairs of other countries, whether to change their regime, to withstand a favourable government for their own interests, or to counter Russia.
The foreign policy of western countries revolves or sticks to the United States of America (USA)’s foreign policy. However, one can see a clear division between the US and Europe in the Russia-Ukraine war.
European countries are dependent on Russia for their natural gas and crude oil via Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which prevents them from imposing sanctions. In India’s case, a major chunk of its crude oil comes from the Middle East. Russia supplies only 2% of India’s oil needs, and due to the discounted price of oil, India has to prioritise its national interest. Even knowing this fact, Western countries have mounted pressure on India instead of Europe, which is buying 10 to 15% more than what India is buying, to diversify its needs.
As far as the Russia-Ukraine war is concerned, Ukraine is solely responsible for its crisis because of the “carrot” of NATO. Since 2014, Ukrainians have left their soil to these powers for geopolitical or military experimentation for their resistance against Russia.
Ukraine wants the support of western countries. However, the United States has made it clear that it will not involve in the war militarily and denied becoming a security guarantor. In 2008 too, Germany blocked the entry of Ukraine into NATO, even when the tension was not high.
Division in western countries for granting membership of NATO to Ukraine is the primary reason for the escalation of the war.
Sanctions in the Russia-Ukraine Crisis:
The way the countries have imposed sanctions, they have exempted oil and gas imports from Russia, which the whole of Europe and the West requires. So, at one level, they are trying to promote their strategic interest. While at the second level, they are trying to scuttle Russia. They want to change the new political equilibrium, which is neither in the West’s nor India’s interests.
As a very responsible country, India does not support war under any circumstances. When it comes to the US, it is in the country’s best interest to avoid confrontation with Russia. This is because it will ultimately alter the region’s geopolitical equilibrium and have long-term consequences.
Ultimately, it is the position of India’s credibility. The country does not support the kind of political system in Russia but does not interfere in its internal affairs. Western countries have to be more receptive and pragmatic to bring an end to this war.
Being conscious of the humanitarian consequences, the government of India is doing its best to effectuate a ceasefire to bring an end to the war. The kind of provocation or idea that “either you be with us or you are against us” harms themselves and the region. Therefore, India’s position must be respected and trusted.
Refugee Crisis due to the Ukraine War:
The conflict between Russia and Ukraine has caused civilian casualties and destroyed civilian infrastructure, forcing people to leave their country to seek protection.
More than four million refugees have crossed borders and entered neighbouring countries. The Regional Refugee Response Plan is working to bring together the United Nations (UN) and Non-Governmental Organizations to work with host country governments to ensure safe places for refugees.
United Nations Security Council – A Paper Tiger to Prevent War:
After the devastation of World War II, fifty-one countries came together with a commitment to maintain international peace and security, promote social progress, and ensure better living standards and human rights. Thus, the United Nations came up in 1945. Since 1945, the world has changed drastically; it is more of a multi-polar world than a unipolar one. Since then, no major reforms have taken place, and it still consists of ten non-permanent members and five permanent members.
The failure of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to adopt a draft resolution to end the Ukraine war was not only due to the Russian Federation using its veto power. It is also because of the working structure of the UNSC. Today, the five permanent members of the Security Council have held the UNSC captive. As a result, the P5 members have the license to abuse it. Kyiv’s Permanent Representative has rightly told the Council President, “Your words have less value than a hole in a New York pretzel”.
French Permanent Ambassador to the UN once said, “India is at the forefront of efforts at the UN to push for long-pending reform of the Security Council”. Also, nations with major economies such as Germany, Brazil and Japan are needed as permanent members to ensure global governance and a multi-polar world.
In the present humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, the different countries must keep their self-interests away and work to end the war. It is also necessary that the various countries support the efforts of the United Nations to end the war. The countries must work to establish peace in Ukraine because there are innocent human lives at stake in the war that is taking place.
 ShrutiMenon, Ukraine crisis: Why is India buying Russian oil?, BBC News (June 10, 2022), https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-60783874.
 Anurag Roushan, Angela Merkel Backs Her 2008 Decision To Block Ukraine From Joining NATO: Reports, Republic World (Apr. 4, 2022), https://www.republicworld.com/world-news/russia-ukraine-crisis/angela-merkel-backs-her-2008-decision-to-block-ukraine-from-joining-nato-reports-articleshow.html.
 Catherine Clifford, Why Europe is so dependent on Russia for natural gas, CNBC (Feb 24, 2022), https://www.cnbc.com/2022/02/24/why-europe-depends-on-russia-for-natural-gas.html.
 Supra, note 5.
 Simon Tisdall, The United Nations has the power to punish Putin. This is how it can be done, Ukraine Today (Apr. 6, 2022), https://ukrainetoday.org/2022/04/06/the-united-nations-has-the-power-to-punish-putin-this-is-how-it-can-be-done/.
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 France backs India’s bid for permanent membership in reformed UNSC, NSG, Business Standard (May 5, 2022), https://www.business-standard.com/article/international/france-backs-india-s-bid-for-permanent-membership-in-reformed-unsc-nsg-122050500224_1.html.
Editor: Anugra Anna Shaju