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  • 19 August, 2022

  • 7 Min Read

Implications of talks Between INDIA & NATO

Implications of talks Between INDIA & NATO

India and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) held their first political discussion on December 12 in Brussels, according to recent reports.

What is NATO?

North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is a military alliance established by the North Atlantic Treaty (also called the Washington Treaty) of April 1949, by the United States, Canada, and several Western European nations to provide collective security against the Soviet Union.

There are currently 30 member states.

Original Members:

Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Other nations include:

  • Spain (1982), the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland (1999), Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia (2004), Albania and Croatia (2009), Montenegro (2017), and North Macedonia (1952). West Germany (1955, renamed Germany in 1990. (2020).
  • Although it continued to be a member of NATO, France left its seat in the organization's integrated military command in 1966. In 2009, it returned.
  • Finland and Sweden have recently expressed interest in joining NATO.
  • Headquarters: Brussels, Belgium.

NATO-India Political Dialogue

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and India had their first political discussion on December 12, 2019, in Brussels.

India has engaged in political talks with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, shedding light on New Delhi’s changing geopolitical calculations.

India has been coordinating with NATO for several years now:

  • In Afghanistan, India’s ambitious development projects between 2001 and 2021 depended on security support from NATO forces.
  • In hotspots of maritime piracy, India partners with NATO to keep shipping lanes safe.
  • Indeed, India’s biggest security concerns, China and Pakistan, have their own dialogues with NATO. At a time when the Brussels-headquartered alliance is finally focusing more on threats posed by China, it makes sense for India to engage with NATO.
  • India's geostrategic location offers a unique perspective and improves world security in India's own region and beyond, according to NATO

Concerns: Why India must keep ties with NATO limited to an arms-length handshake and not an embrace?

  • It is also critical that New Delhi stays cautious about maintaining its distance from commitments that could limit India’s strategic freedom.
  • From the perspective of NATO, Russia, whose aggressive actions are endangering European security, poses the greatest threat to the alliance, not China, which is India’s greatest concern.
  • A very tight relationship with NATO would also undermine India’s stated goal of working towards a multipolar world while prompting concern among New Delhi’s friends in Moscow.
  • Furthermore, NATO perceived the Taliban as a political force in Afghanistan, which was not in line with India’s stance.
  • Even full-fledged NATO members, such as Turkey, have faced US sanctions; so deeper ties with the alliance are not a guarantee of safety from potential punitive moves by Washington.

Way forward

India needs to be cautious of its stance. In the rising multipolar world and changing world order, India too is making pragmatic approaches like recently changing stance for Taliban in Afghanistan and talks with NATO but must be aligned with its own strategic independence and national interest.

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Source: The Indian Express

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