India’s Rebuke of Putin Should Reduce Washington’s Fears of a Multipolar World

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s declaration of the partial mobilization of military reservists — a decision he’s hesitated to make up to this point — signifies the depth of Russia’s military setbacks in Ukraine. But he has also been taking political hits on the international stage.

At the gathering of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization last week in Uzbekistan, Putin hoped to show that Washington’s efforts to isolate him have failed. Instead, India subtly rebuked him for continuing the war.

Many in the West hailed Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s criticism as a sign of the tide turning against Russia. But India’s criticism shouldn’t be misread: India was not siding with the Western coalition against Russia in its criticism, just like it wasn’t siding with Russia when it refused to join anti-Russia sanctions at the outset of the war.

Instead, India’s behavior illustrates how the world is becoming more multipolar, as other midsize and large nations become more powerful relative to the U.S. Washington fears losing its hegemonic position on the world stage. But India’s rebuke of Putin shows that the U.S. should not treat the Global South’s welcoming of multipolarity as an expression of anti-Americanism. A world where power is more broadly shared will also entail pushback against the United States’ rivals.

Read the full piece in MSNBC.