31 October, 2020

The Limits Of Friendship

Despite a joint military drill with Pak, Russia is still India’s friend. But due to various factors, this relationship isn’t exclusive anymore.

A pic from a joint Russian-Indian military exercise
Photograph by Getty Images
The Limits Of Friendship
outlookindia.com
2016-10-03T15:37:18+05:30

Russia’s agreement, subsequently denied, to hold joint military drills with Pakistan precisely in Gilgit-Baltistan may have been a mistake or a bureaucratic oversight: there was no intention and no need to unn­ecessarily provoke India. However, Russia’s outreach to Pakistan is not accidental. It highlights the changes in Russia’s foreign policy since the days of the Soviet Union, and particularly since the beginning of Moscow’s recent confrontation with the US and its alienation from Europe. Russia’s partners and friends, especially in India, need to better understand those changes and their implications, and adjust to them.

Above all, Russia is acting squarely out of its own nat­ional interest—as its leaders define it. For all the talk of a new cold war with the West, which is misleading, the current confrontation is fundamentally different from the US-­­Sov­­iet standoff. Real dangers to Russia’s security have arisen south of its borders. President Putin’s bombing campaign in Syria is a first...

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