The lengthy talk by President of the United States of America on Russia and Ukraine did take India by surprise, but many would chose to ignore it since it was a specific by an American journalist that was being answered. [Follow updates on President Obama's India visit]
The experts however say that while not a big deal should be made out of it, Obama could have still avoided speaking on the subject as this was not part of the bi-lateral between India and the US. [Modi's invitation to Obama will keep India's traditional allies guessing]
What Obama said:
"With respect to Ukraine, what I've said consistently is that we have no interest in seeing Russia weakened or its economy in shambles. We have a profound interest, as I believe every country does, in promoting a core principle, which is, large countries don't bully smaller countries. They don't encroach on their territorial integrity. They don't encroach on their sovereignty. And that's what's at stake in Ukraine. [Hotline Modi and Obama: Just pick up and talk]
What we have done is to consistently isolate Russia on this issue and to raise the costs that Russia confronts," "I've been very clear that it would not be effective for us to engage in a military conflict with Russia on this issue, but what we can do is to continue to support Ukraine's ability to control its own territory. [Obama in India: It is huge, says expert]
The US was deeply concerned about the latest break in the ceasefire and the aggression that "these separatists - with Russian backing, Russian equipment, Russian financing, Russian training and Russian troops - are conducting.
It could have been avoided:
Former Chief of the Research and Analysis Wing, C D Sahay tells oneindia that it is normally considered to be un-democratic to use a bi-lateral platform to talk about another country. India's foreign secretary did justify it by saying that it was an answer to a question by an American journalist.
While that is one way of looking at it, Obama could have still avoided that question by stating that it is not the right forum to raise it. The Ukraine crisis is not a new thing and it is not as though it happened recently. It has been on for months now.
The only positive that I can take out of Obama's Russia talk is that he said that they were not going for war. War or a war like situation is avoidable in Russia, Obama said and this is a positive according to me.
India not too concerned:
India would however not want this incident to overshadow all the other positives that have come out from the talks between the two leaders. There have been several positives that have emerged from thet talks and one should feel happy about that diplomats in New Delhi say.
Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh said, "It was an answer given by the US President in response to an US journalist's question. You are aware of our strategic partnership with Russia."
On Pakistan, there are positives:
Sahay further adds that both India and the US have decided to engage more intensely when it comes to combating terrorism. This is a positive sign and India does not really have much to complain now about the US handling of Pakistan.
A lot of messages have gone to Pakistan from since the past several days now. This is a very encouraging sign. >From what I understand of the talks that have been held there will be more positive engagement on terrorism and Pakistan will have to pull up its socks and fight terror more positively.