This Indian exception did not astonish me after a talk MANOHAR PARRIKAR INSTITUTE FOR DEFENCE STUDIES AND ANALYSES (MP-IDSA), Talk by Vice Admiral Kay-Achim Schonbach, Chief of the German Navy on 21.01.2022 that stressed the problem of China over the problem of Russia.
1:09:04 [wrap up only:] Crimea is lost, Russia will not annect Ukraine (wrong prediction, the vice admiral had to leave his position directly after this!)
And the "Indian reaction" was:
1:09:20 We cannot agree with you more, because India also has a very
strong strategic partnership with Russia
It might be more insightful to listen to it in a longer context. After this, China's expansionist role in Asia is discussed in the next 10 minutes. Here is a summary of the quotes on China:
Then topic: China, South China Sea, quotes of the German officer
1:13:55 China is already putting pressure on India
1:14:28 Sanctions against China as possible "hammer"
1:14:51 ...So instead of really giving - always for harmony, for Ying
and Yang - always China the possibility to expand a little bit more,
expand a little bit more...
1:16:41 ASEAN is a trading organisation. But you all suffer from China
as we do. And we would suffer even more if we did not do anything
1:17:02 I think not against China, but I think, ASEAN could be even
more, or some nations from ASEAN should stay close to each other and
found a security and stability arrangement ... 1:17:36 bilateral
partnerships mean nothing
On the whole, this seemed to get approval. Though this is just an academic institute of defence studies and not official politicians, it might still give some insight into the big questions behind the problem of Russia today.
The vice admiral had to leave his position after this talk because of the view on Russia, but not because of the view on China, and on the whole, this just gives a real life insight into the two sides that India needs to balance out:
- being against an expansionist Russia because of expansionist China, and
- being in favor of Russia because it is needed against China (which is a point not only for India).