Pakistan, China, Russia: A Dangerous AxisAre Pakistan, China, Russia a team? Is Russia exploring other options in its south Asia policy? Even though PM Modi remarked that one old friend is better than two new ones, by all accounts, Russia has cold shouldered India over terror in Pakistan at the just concluded BRICS summit, despite Modi dangling a multi-billion dollar arms contract. Does this mean that Russia is veering away from India and is it because India under Narendra Modi is seen to be increasingly leaning towards the US?
By Sunil Garodia
By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2016-10-18 13:10:12
The whole world noticed how Modi tried to display first-name bonhomie with the US president Barack Obama and otherwise tried to project that India and the US were natural partners and had much in common. While his outreach might be paying dividends on the US front, with the administration there issuing successive warnings to Pakistan to clamp down on terror in the wake of the Uri attack, it also seems to have estranged an old friend. The Russians seem to have taken it as an affront and as the recent joint military exercises in Pakistan proved; they are no longer treating the country as out of bounds in their foreign policy. It also means that India can no longer take Russian support for granted.
At BRICS, it almost seemed that Russia silently followed Chinas lead. The Russians did not intervene to argue Indias case on naming JeM and LeT even as China blocked the resolution. Does this mean that we will witness a new Sino-Russian power axis against the West in the days to come? While it might be early days to comment on that and it might involve a lot of ifs and buts, one thing is clear India has to be wary of the Russians finding a new friend in Pakistan. For, a Sino-Russian-Pakistani axis will alter the power balance in the region and it will put India at great disadvantage. Commentators in Pakistani media are already gloating over the issue. With two major powers on its side, Pakistan's isolation will not be as complete as India would have wanted.