“An old friend is better than two new ones,” said PM Modi
at the India-Russia Annual Summit held in Goa last year. The first ever Russian business delegation after Putin’s visit in 2016 is expected to subdue India’s displeasure about Russia’s growing interests in China and Pakistan. The indication from the past visit is clear. President Putin might have the cognizance of India’s apprehensions about Russia’s growing relationship with Pakistan and China. Yet, it can hardly toe India’s diplomatic lines with its two neighbours. India’s continued attempt to mount diplomatic offensive against Pakistan and stoke up nonsense about the benefits of banning Chinese products in India may impress a crop of nationalists within the country, some member states of BRICS as well as a few BIMSTEC nations, but in reality, in due course of time, such steps will fail to yield desired results.
I draw my conclusion from the following two facts: 1. Russia is aware of India’s growing relationship with the US, and hence it is getting wary about its objective of establishing the Eurasian identity. It will no doubt join the international efforts to fight terrorism, but will never risk its objective of becoming a superpower again. Therefore, it will never take a chance to spoil its relations with Pakistan because it needs Pakistan for fulfilling its Eurasian ambition. 2. You may hate Chinese, but the fact still remains China and Russia have been members of SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organisation) along with other Central Asian countries since long and both want to break in the hegemonic presence of the US in the region. Both have been great friends post-Soviet disintegration.
Though India and Pakistan have no say here, but Pakistan’s geographic location will continue to woo both China and Russia for their respective interests in Central Asia and Europe.