Category: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
Syllabus: Effect of Policies and Politics of Developed and Developing Countries on India’s Interests
Mains: Alignment, dealignment and realignment in West Asia and its Impact on India
Context: Putin’s Gulf tour signifies Russia’s pivot to Gulf states, aligning with Iran, challenging U.S. dominance, and asserting a role in West Asian affairs.
- Convergence of Gulf Countries and Russia:
- Recent Visits: Putin’s December 6 visit to Abu Dhabi and Riyadh marked a significant shift in Russia’s diplomatic engagements.
- Mutual Affirmations: Hosts, including UAE ruler Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, emphasized the importance of dialogue and cooperation. Putin echoed sentiments, stating that nothing should hinder the development of friendly relations.
- Changing Alliances: Despite historical alliances with the U.S., both the UAE and Saudi Arabia are prioritizing ties with China and Russia, asserting “strategic autonomy.”
- Joint Opposition to Western Sanctions: Russia and Iran, facing Western sanctions, are challenging global strategic leadership and advocating for a multipolar world order.
- Bilateral Relations: Substantial ties in energy and military domains, joint naval exercises in the Gulf of Oman, and reported arms deals, such as Iran acquiring Sukhoi Su-35 aircraft from Russia.
- Common Challenges: Discussions during President Raisi’s visit covered Gaza, Ukraine, and oil prices. Both leaders called for an end to Israel’s actions, accusing the U.S. and Western powers of backing such actions.
- Strategic Messaging: Putin’s overseas trip served as a message that Russia is not isolated and has close allies in the Gulf, challenging the notion of isolation due to Western restrictions.
- Assurance of Regional Stability: Leveraging Russia’s ties with Iran, Putin assured Gulf states that the Gaza war wouldn’t escalate, indicating Iranian restraint on Hezbollah and Houthis for regional stability.
- Seeking Alignment: Putin aimed for deeper alignment between Gulf Cooperation Council states and Iran, positioning Russia and China as guarantors of regional peace.
- Post-Gaza Scenario: Seeking support for a united approach with Russia and China in managing post-Gaza diplomatic challenges, excluding the U.S. from this regional alignment.
- Continuity in Regional Approach: Putin assured Gulf leaders of Russia’s consistent regional approach, signalling his intention to seek re-election in 2024 and lead Russia until at least the end of the decade.
- Russia and China Axis in West Asia and Declining Hegemony of the U.S.:
- Strategic Partnership: Putin recognized China as a key player in regional politics, aligning with Russia to complement China’s diplomatic role.
- Challenging U.S. Hegemony: The Sino-Russian alliance aims to challenge U.S. hegemony, with Russia affirming its role in West Asian affairs and signalling a shift in the regional political order.
- Joint Opposition: Putin and Raisi jointly opposed Israel’s actions in Gaza, accusing the U.S. and Western powers of supporting what they termed as “genocide and crimes against humanity.”
- Exclusion of U.S.: The alignment with Russia and China was positioned as an alternative to the U.S., which has been criticised for its unconditional support for Israel, potentially excluding the U.S. from future regional diplomatic arrangements.
Nut Graf: In a dramatic move, Russian President Putin’s whirlwind Gulf tour, emphasizing ties with UAE and Saudi Arabia, signifies a strategic shift. Amidst growing Russian-Iranian alignment, Putin aims to assure regional stability post-Gaza war and foster a united front against U.S. hegemony. This signals Russia’s intent to lead West Asian affairs, challenging traditional alliances in a multipolar global order.
Syllabus: Indian Diaspora
Mains: Trend of migration from India and across international borders, its possible impacts on bilateral relations.
Context: In response to a question in the Rajya Sabha, it was revealed that the U.S. has encountered a significant increase in illegal Indian migrants, reaching almost 100,000 in 2023.
Illegal Migration Trend in U.S.:
- Over the last four years, there has been a significant surge in illegal migration to the United States.
- U.S. Customs and Border Protection data reveals encounters with nearly 100,000 illegal Indian migrants in 2023 alone.
- The trend contrasts with the previous decade, where the number of Indian illegal migrants was comparatively low, crossing the 10,000 mark only in recent years.
Indian Migration and Trend:
- The number of Indians attempting to enter the U.S. illegally has risen sharply, reaching 96,917 in 2023.
- This surge gains attention amid the upcoming U.S. presidential elections, with illegal border crossings being a key concern for voters.
- Former President Donald Trump attributes the rise to the reversal of his immigration policies by President Joe Biden.
Migration from Northern and Southern Border:
- Historically, the majority of illegal border crossings occurred at the U.S.-Mexico border (southwest).
- In 2023, 77% of all illegal migrants entered through the southwest border, while the northern border with Canada accounted for approximately 6%.
- Notably, there’s a rising trend among Indian migrants choosing the northern border, with numbers increasing from less than 100 in 2014 to over 30,000 in 2023.
Trump Policy and Migration:
- Former President Trump’s immigration-related policies, reversed by President Biden, are seen as a contributing factor to the surge in illegal migration.
- Trump’s policy of separating minors from their families was a controversial measure, resulting in over 5,000 children being separated.
- Despite a recent federal judge’s decision against the separation of minors, there is an observed increase in both accompanied and unaccompanied Indian minors attempting to cross the border.
Nut Graf: In recent years, the United States has witnessed a dramatic surge in illegal migration, notably from India, with nearly 100,000 encounters in 2023 alone. This rise coincides with the U.S. presidential elections and is linked to policy changes, including the reversal of immigration measures by President Biden. Notably, there’s a shift in border preferences among Indian migrants, increasingly favouring the northern border with Canada.