India breaks ranks with Japan, Germany to join UNSC

Russia has tacitly nudged India to break ranks with Germany and Japan while seeking expansion of the United Nations Security Council and a permanent seat for itself on the Horseshoe Table.

New Delhi, however, is unlikely to break away from the G-4, which comprises India, Germany, Japan and Brazil and has been collectively demanding expansion of the Security Council with permanent seats for all the four nations.

Andrey Denisov, Moscow’s envoy to Beijing, said that Russia was open to the prospects of India and Brazil joining the Security Council as permanent members, but would oppose giving the same status to Japan and Germany. He was speaking at the Global Peace Forum in Beijing on Monday.

He said that Russia was in favour of expansion of the UN Security Council based on a broad consensus, ensuring increasing the proportionate representation of African, Asian and Latin American nations. ‘At the same time, I would like to be frank – we aren’t ready to support the accession of actors such as Germany and Japan,’ Denisov was quoted by TASS, the state news agency of Russia. ‘We don’t see any added value from their (Japan’s and Germany’s) potential accession. On the other hand, we are open to the prospects of India and Brazil joining (the Security Council).’

Moscow’s relations with the United States, United Kingdom, Germany and other western nations hit a new low after President Vladimir Putin ordered the soldiers of the former Soviet Union nations to launch special military operations in Ukraine on February 24 this year. With Fumio Kishida’s government in Tokyo joining the US and the other western nations in slamming Moscow and tightening sanctions on it for its aggression against Ukraine, Japan’s relations with Russia also worsened.

New Delhi drew flak from the western nations as it steadfastly refused to join them in condemning Russia’s military offensive against Ukraine. India refrained from slamming Russia – primarily in view of its decades-old strategic partnership with and its dependence on the former Soviet Union nation for military hardware.

Putin, himself, reiterated Russia’s support to India’s bid to get a permanent seat in the UNSC during his visit to India in December 2021.

New Delhi, according to the sources, is unlikely to quit the G-4, which came into existence in 2005, with India, Germany, Japan and Brazil coming together to collectively seek reforms of the United Nations and expansion of the Security Council with permanent membership for themselves.

The foreign ministers of the G-4 nations meet in New York on the sideline of the UN General Assembly every year. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar attended the last meeting on September 22 in 2021, when he and his counterparts from the three other nations agreed that India, Japan, Germany and Brazil would continue to support each other’s candidatures as aspiring new permanent members in a reformed Security Council.

India’s non-permanent membership of the UNSC started in January 2021 and will end in December 2022.