It was nothing but a poor political fantasy for Blinken to believe that he could turn the Quad against Russia since India would never allow anything of the sort to happen to its trusted strategic partner the same as Russia wouldn’t ever allow any of the groups it participates in to turn against India.
US Secretary of State Blinken was reported by the Sydney Morning Herald to have expressed an intent to turn the Quad against Russia during its fourth Foreign Ministers’ meeting in Melbourne. According to the outlet:
“While the four foreign ministers recognised that the Quad ‘maintains the primacy of the Indo-Pacific’, US Secretary of State Tony Blinken raised concern that the events in Ukraine ‘challenge basic principles that all Quad partners want to see upheld’.”
Their interpretation of his remarks was clear from the headline of their cited article, which reads “Blinken tells Quad partners to stand up to China and Russia”. If that was truly his intent, then he totally failed.
The joint statement that was released following their lengthy discussions doesn’t include any mention of Russia or Ukraine. Blinken did bring it up during the press conference and his Australian counterpart chimed in following a relevant question from reports, but the bloc clearly didn’t “stand up to…Russia”.
That’s because India is the Eurasian Great Power’s special and privileged strategic partner as proven by the joint statement that was released in early December following President Putin’s game-changing visit to the South Asian state.
It ran for about 6,300 words and included 99 paragraphs, thus making it approximately 1,000 words longer than the joint statement released by Russia and China following President Putin’s trip to Beijing last week that the Western Mainstream Media can’t stop talking about while ignoring the Indian one.
External Affairs Minister Jaishankar didn’t directly address Russia or Ukraine but reminded everyone during their press conference in reference to Myanmar that “where we are concerned, we don’t follow a policy of national sanctions.” This is true not just regarding Myanmar, but also Russia as well.
Nevertheless, it’s clear that it and Ukraine were discussed during their talks, but that was presumably at the US’ initiative. Knowing India’s official stance towards the crisis, it’s balancing between East and West by not siding with or against anyone, which conforms to its multi-alignment policy.
New Delhi would probably have also been uncomfortable with Blinken bashing Russia during their talks but Jaishankar might not have said all that much in the interests of moving the discussion along towards more pertinent topics on which all four Quad members agree.
It was therefore nothing but a poor political fantasy for Blinken to believe that he could turn the Quad against Russia since India would never allow anything of the sort to happen to its trusted strategic partner the same as Russia wouldn’t ever allow any of the groups it participates in to turn against India.
All such efforts are nothing but failed attempts to drive a wedge in the rock-solid Russian-Indian Strategic Partnership. The US extremely dislikes it since Washington knows that New Delhi’s close relations with Moscow provide the South Asian state maximum strategic autonomy.
That in turn prevents the US from subjugating India as its so-called “junior partner”, something that it repeatedly tried to do since summer 2020 but also completely failed at. The Quad is clearly aimed against China no matter what any of its members officially claim, but it’ll never be anti-Russian.