Asia-Pacific Views on the Russia-Ukraine War
Weekly Newsletters

Asia-Pacific Views on the Russia-Ukraine War



4 March 2022




Dear Network Members and Colleagues,

This week Shyam Saran, former Indian foreign secretary and APLN member, explains India’s response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Tanya Ogilvie-White highlights the risks of Putin putting his nuclear forces on high alert, and Van Jackson analyses the different US ideological and political camps on nuclear strategy in Northeast Asia. We also feature perspectives on the Russia-Ukraine war from members and experts across the Asia-Pacific.








Former Foreign Secretary of India and APLN member, Shyam Saran, argues that the Russian invasion of Ukraine has confronted India with difficult choices. He explains India’s longstanding and valued relationship with Russia, and how it has adopted a nuanced position: it is unlikely to be supportive of Russia yet it is unlikely to join other countries in condemning and politically and economically isolating Russia.



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APLN senior research advisor Tanya Ogilvie-White outlines the dangers as Putin puts Russian nuclear forces on high alert. She makes the case that the risk of nuclear use stems from tensions escalating between Russia, the US, and NATO, even as the latter try to resist being drawn directly into the war. She argues that the most serious danger is misperception: the risk that action taken in support of Ukraine is misinterpreted by Russia as a deliberate provocation.



Read Now






APLN senior associate fellow and professor of International Relations at Victoria University of Wellington, Van Jackson, argues that there is no single monolithic US perspective on nuclear strategy in Northeast Asia. Rather there are four different camps defined by ideological and political orientation: arms-controllers, nuclear traditionalists, nuclear primacists, and future-of-war strategists.In this latest special report, Jackson explores how each of these groups would respond to Japanese and South Korean nuclear near-proliferation, a North Korean atmospheric nuclear test, and a limited war gone wrong.



Read the Report (PDF)



WPL urges for immediate ceasefire in Ukraine and peace dialogue
On 24 February, Helen Clark, APLN member and former prime minister of New Zealand, and ELN member Silvana Koch-Mehrin spearheaded an open letter calling for an immediate ceasefire and asking the leaders of Iceland to invite Biden and Putin for a dialogue in Reykjavik. Sign the open letter.




Three is a crowd
On 24 February, Shyam Saran, APLN member and former foreign minister of India, examines a scenario for The Tribune where the US decides to confront a greater threat from Russia through strategic accommodation with China, negatively impacting India. Read more.




Assessing China’s Response to Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine
On 24 February, Kevin Rudd, APLN member and former prime minister of Australia, wrote an assessment of China’s reaction to the war in Ukraine arguing that Beijing’s political support for Russia could propel the existing geostrategic rivalry into a new Cold War. He also wrote for the Financial Review, ‘How Ukraine fits into China’s long game,’ about China and Russia’s challenge to the US for global leadership.




Putin may be Executing the NATO Playbook from 1999, not Hitler’s from the 1930s
On 26 February, Ramesh Thakur, APLN member wrote for the Toda Peace Institute an article assessing the narrative that Putin is using the NATO playbook from the 1999 Kosovo war. Read more.




Engaging China in Arms Control
On 8 March, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace will be hosting a two-part discussion on the challenges of China enhancing its arsenal and military capabilities. APLN members  Nobumasa Akiyama and Tong Zhao will be featured amongst the panelists. Register to attend.





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