Why are most Indo-Pacific countries silent on Ukraine?

Conflicts between Russia and the West led to a sudden Cold War-like situation for the Indo-Pacific countries, which they already had a formula to deal with. This silence will only be broken once the role of the West and the American commitment are decided. Since the beginning of Russia’s so-called special military operation in Ukraine on 24 February 2022, the world order has come to an end. There is an atmosphere of instability in Europe, so America is worried about how to defeat Russia without jumping on the battlefield. Many Ukrainian cities, including the capital Kyiv, are rapidly falling into ruin due to ongoing retaliatory military action and violence between the Russian and Ukrainian armies. So far, more than two million people have taken refuge in other parts of the world, including Europe. It seems that this number will exceed four million in the coming days. The Russo-Ukrainian war is having a devastating effect on ordinary life. In addition to the Ukrainian people who are sympathetic to Russia, people from other countries who have gone there in search of education and employment are also at risk of destruction caused by the war. Attempts to persuade Russia to stop the attack have so far failed. In the same development, on March 7, Russia published a list of countries that did not behave in the circle of friendship with Russia in the Russia-Ukraine war.

Apart from Australia, New Zealand, South Korea and Singapore, the 28 countries of the European Union and more than a dozen countries besides Taiwan are not included in this list of Indo-Pacific Southeast Asian countries. It is noteworthy that most of these countries are the same countries that have strong military and diplomatic relations with the United States. If we consider the perspectives of all Indo-Pacific countries on this issue, it is clear that all countries in the region are silent on the Russia-Ukraine issue. It is also a joke that India, China and Pakistan have almost the same views on this issue. India, China and the United Arab Emirates – all three countries have taken a neutral position in the UN Security Council. The same thing has happened in South Asia, Southeast Asia and all the countries in the Indian Ocean region. Broadly speaking, these three regions determine the geographical boundaries of the Indo-Pacific. Read more: Berliners open heart and home door for Ukrainian refugees What China has learned from Russia is lessons learned from Russia’s attack on its small neighbor and the lax US policy on it, China should not do the same. Despite their strong opposition, these countries are working hard to avoid supporting Russia or Ukraine (and the West). There are many reasons for this that need to be understood.


First of all, these Indo-Pacific countries have been believing and following the policy of non-alignment and non-interference in the affairs of other countries for centuries. Because of this conflict between Russia and the West, a cold war-like situation has suddenly arisen for all these Indo-Pacific countries, which they already had the idea to deal with. So this country will remain neutral until the situation is clear, it is clear. Second, Russia is a reliable ally for all Indo-Pacific countries, including India. The situation is similar in defense relations, especially in countries like Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, Iran and China. Europe’s weak position The third and perhaps most important is America’s weak position and America’s weak role in Ukraine. There is no doubt that this war has affected Europe’s place in world politics. It would not be an exaggeration to say that while Europe’s interest in the Indo-Pacific continued after the Russo-Ukrainian War, its priorities would change. The situation in Europe has worsened following Russia’s threat to cut off gas supplies to Europe. The euro has reached its lowest level against the US dollar in recent years and will probably take longer to recover. For the past decade and a half, Ukraine has been accused of preparing and provoking Russia, but today, when Ukraine is under attack, leave Ukraine.

Read more: India should speak out against Russia, America’s position in America, the question of America, NATO expansion, its place in the European Union, the situation in Ukraine today, big promises like America’s partnership, Joe Biden made it clear that America will not take any military action in Russia-Ukraine. The issue has raised suspicions in some parts of Southeast Asia. The Biden administration has paid a lot of attention to the Indo-Pacific, which is probably why the United States did not take long to understand the concerns of the Indo-Pacific countries and there were reports of attempts to negotiate with the Southeast Asian countries. At a forthcoming meeting in Australia, US Secretary of State Blinken “understood” India’s closeness to Russia, and President Biden proposed a meeting with ASEAN countries in late March to understand the perspectives of Southeast Asian nations. Although the current ASEAN president, Cambodia, has already called for the meeting to be postponed, the United States and the West should maintain dialogue with Indo-Pacific nations. Otherwise, America’s dream of establishing an Indo-Pacific system will remain a dream. In the last few years, the United States has tried to bring in Southeast Asian countries strategically to curb China’s growing glory in the Indo-Pacific region. The United States has succeeded in curbing China’s activities in the South China Sea, but the question now is whether the United States will stand by these countries in difficult times. (Rahul Mishra is a Senior Professor of International Politics at the Asia-Europe Institute, Malay University.)


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