New Delhi: The Indian Foreign Minister said that the build-up in the Indo-Pacific shows that the world is coming out of the cold war times and not entering it. Russia is accusing that the QUAD cooperation developing between India, the United States, Japan and Australia, is Asian NATO. The Indian Foreign Minister has replied to this accusation. At the same time, Indian Foreign Minister S Jaishankar clarified that India would not remain restricted only to the Gulf of Aden and Strait of Malacca. The Indian influence will extend much beyond that, and this is the meaning of Indo-Pacific. At the same time, Foreign Minister Jaishankar accused that the allegation that QUAD is Asian NATO is only a mind game.
Russian Ambassador to India, Nikolay Kudashev, criticised the Indo-Pacific policies of the western countries. While speaking to the media on Wednesday, he warned that this is a dangerous game of cold war mentality. Although saying that the western countries are behind this, he avoided pinning the responsibility directly on India. The Russian Ambassador is accusing India of being a part of this game, as India is a part of QUAD. Before this, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov also had suggested that he heard talks about Asian NATO during his India visit. Therefore, Russia seems to be expressing displeasure and objections regarding Indian participation in QUAD in different ways.
Foreign Minister Jaishankar replied to these accusations while speaking at the security-related conference, Raisina Dialogue, held in New Delhi. While speaking on this occasion, Foreign Minister Jaishankar assured that the build-up in the Indo-Pacific is not an effort to start a new cold war. Jaishankar claimed that instead, a message that the world is moving ahead from the cold war era is being delivered through this. Jaishankar accused that some people are playing mind games by referring to the QUAD cooperation as Asian NATO. The QUAD countries are aligning based on national interests and interests at the international level.
While India is giving this clarification, NATO Chief Stoltenberg made a notable statement. He claimed that India is the key player in the Indo-Pacific region. This claim made by Stoltenberg, while addressing the Raisina Dialogue in virtual mode, becomes significant. Stoltenberg reminded that India had made considerable contributions to the UN peacekeeping forces, and India is an important country not only in the Indo-Pacific but also on the global level. The NATO chief added that India would be hosting the G-20 conference in 2023.
Meanwhile, an ally like Russia alleging that India was joining Asian NATO and India promptly replying to it becomes a significant development. The balance in the Indo-Pacific is threatened because of the increasing Chinese aggression. The sector is facing a massive threat from Chinese expansionism. The QUAD cooperation becomes extremely important to counter this threat. Moreover, demand for QUAD Plus, going beyond the four countries, is gaining ground.
It is claimed that France and the United Kingdom, along with South Korea and Canada, are being considered for inclusion in QUAD Plus.