Former Ambassador Michael McFaul has come under fire for criticizing the recent visit of New Delhi’s top diplomat to Moscow
Michael McFaul, the US ambassador to Russia from 2012-14, has come under fire after lamenting India’s “embrace of imperial Russia,” while commenting on Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar’s visit to Moscow last week.
McFaul, who was a key figure in former US President Barack Obama’s administration and its attempts to reset relations with Russia, shared an RT article about Jaishankar’s visit, penned by political commentator Aaryaman Nijhawan, on X (formerly Twitter), suggesting that “India was once a world champion against imperialism and for decolonization.”
“Sad to see this embrace of imperial Russia using war and annexation to try to recolonize Ukraine. I guess money is more important than values,” he wrote.
McFaul’s remarks soon attracted attention on the social media platform, with hundreds of commenters accusing the diplomat of hypocrisy.
“When America or European countries take a foreign policy decision, it’s in their national interest. Whereas if India does it, the #Toolkit members preach morality, start offering unsolicited lessons [of] wisdom,” one person said, adding that India is “capable of deciding for herself.”
Some commenters recalled the history of Indian-Russian ties during the Cold War, reminding McFaul of the US’ reluctance to “stand with India” when India “was a world champion against imperialism,” while others condemned Washington for supplying Pakistan “with weapons and arms” that are used to attack India.
“You are American. You have always put money above values for the last three hundred years,” Indian entrepreneur CA Shailendra Marathe said in reply to the post.
Neha Shrivastava suggested that India should also refuse to meet with leaders from the US, Australia, and New Zealand, “as those are all occupied, colonized territories whose original inhabitants have been relegated to second-class citizens.”
“India and Russia getting along with each other. Sounds good to me. The USA has Estonia, Finland and Latvia. NATO aggression is causing the rest of the world to unite,” George E. Silos wrote.
Mike McMullen from Canada claimed that “half of the world has turned against the self-hating West,” suggesting there is a “leadership problem.”
The former US diplomat’s comments came days after Jaishankar wrapped up a five-day visit to Russia, in which the two sides signed several key bilateral agreements, paving the way for even stronger ties between the two nations. There has been a massive surge in transactions between Moscow and New Delhi amid the sweeping Western sanctions imposed on Russia over its military operation in Ukraine. In the last two years, India has significantly ramped up imports of Russian commodities, including oil and coal, and strategic items including defense hardware.
Jaishankar, when asked in an interview with ANI news agency about the “meltdown” in the Western press regarding his visit to Russia, said that New Delhi has always maintained that its relationship with Moscow is very “important” and “steady.” “It is a relationship that has served India well… I am looking at it from an Indian perspective,” he said. “You [should not] allow other people to decide your judgment and your responses.”
#WATCH | On Western media's reaction to his visit to Russia, EAM Dr Jaishankar says, "If people can't read me, that means my mind games are working. I see no reason we should take anything other than at face value because we have always maintained that the Russia relationship is… pic.twitter.com/FozTZdTSneADVERTISEMENT
— ANI (@ANI) January 2, 2024
During his visit to Russia last month, Jaishankar met with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Deputy PM Denis Manturov, engaged with the Indian community in Moscow, and held a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, which is a rare deviation from the Kremlin’s protocols. In a joint press conference with Lavrov, Jaishankar expressed confidence that the tradition of annual bilateral summits between Putin and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will resume next year.
January 02, 2024 at 06:15PM