Friday, December 09, 2005

Buddy buddy with the Russians

Rediff has interesting coverage about India's still wheeling and dealing with Russia. That smells not so good.. is India cooperating the wrong country?

Add some countries to the mish-mash -- Pakistan, China, US -- that should explain why India is still Russia-friendly, just like the old days.

Historically India and Russia have been great buddies, with Russia helping India more in just about every way. India's so-called democracy engaged bits of Marxist ideology. Though I'm not well-versed with the Indo-Russia past, one thing everyone seems to know is how past Indian PM Lal Bahadur Shastri died on Russian soil in Tashkent, Uzbekistan

Today, the India-Russo relationship focuses on space exploration, science (read: nuclear tech) armor and oil.

Ripping a few, I find: India wants a Deep Sea Rescue Vehicle. What is disturbing is Russia's weak deep sea rescue portfolio -- it had to enlist help of the West to rescue people from its own subs.

India also wants oil -- the truth is, India doesn't border a single country under Russian influence. Between India and Tajikistan lies PoK and Afghanistan's Badakhshan province, so the only route would be through Kashmir, where the border dispute between India, China and Pak is going on. Tajikistan is under Russian influence, and the Indian Air Force is sharing an airbase over there.

Russia has invested in oil in India, and India has reciprocated, but in the end its the supply that matters, which Russia has, and India doesn't. Russia has helped India develop it's oil, which keeps India floating in that sector, but supply has been minimal. India has ownership in some Russian gas fields in the Sakhalin province, and India is investing more to ensure they ramp up future supplies.

Both countries are looking at Central Asia to expand their oil relationship, but with Central Asians freeing themselves up from the Russian influence, it may push Russia further and further away from India.

And of course, both are looking to deal with terrorism (aka militancy) with Russia-Chechnya, and India-Kashmir. My $0.02 -- India doesn't want Russia's help in dealing with Kashmir terrorism. They may be executing well in Chechnya, but in Afghanistan, they just didn't know how to deal with the terrain, and there will be many miscommunications with the Indian forces. It'll lead to more confusion. But Russia could sure use India's help.

The Indian PM's visit to Russia doesn't hurt, it builds a relationship. Let India build a true economic relationship in this case, but not a political one. India already has many problems to deal with. MTV may have been one of the reasons India drove away from Russia!


Blogger ME said...

u right despite all these differences it's great to be friends with Russians. we r ideological bed partners.

4:06 AM  
Anonymous downunder said...

Try that out for size.
Australia is turning into America more and more each day. Your still safe to visit, so long as you arn't Middle Eastern. What a disgrace.

5:38 AM  
Blogger Khakra said...

A spiteful day for the shire indeed! Mobs moving from one spot to another, drinking beer... parts of it looked kinda funny! Was interesting to note that this was years of tension simmering.. There's always gonna be that population against other nationalities. For Indians, the targets are the African students, in Bombay atleast.

4:04 PM  
Anonymous Jinal Shah said...

Interesting! Unfortunately, I've been blissfully ignorant about these international relations and can think of nothing intelligent to comment about! Atleast I learnt something new.

1:51 AM  
Blogger Khakra said...

stay away from IR jinal! it's getting worse everyday.

3:24 PM  
Blogger venus said...

India has it's own identity, and I am very proud of that. Walking blindly behind uncle Sam is quite scary. US does not ally unless they forsee a huge return! Look at saddam, US supported him for years, and what happened in the end? look at Osama, and now US is after him, look at our dearest neighbor Pak, they can never compete with India, though they have been backed by US $$ since their birth! I would not trust US, and it is a good thing that India is trying to have good relations with everyone on their own. I am also glad that India has been neutral in Iraq war!

Now US wants to counter China, and that's the reason uncle Sam is offering N-deals with India. For US presidents, the leader of the largest democracy was a "witch", what a joke it is, and they proclaim of being the propagator of democracy in the world! I can also not stand double standards US is having, divine design in science textbooks is secular and letting Modi visit US is non-seular!

7:27 AM  
Blogger Khakra said...

The whole US involvement everywhere is purely strategic, with no emotional ties to anyone. One thing they do great is keep the backdoor open, so they can develop relationships in case they need the relationships. But clearly, they have run into rough weather with Iran-Iraq when they supplied weapons to both when the two countries were warring.

I would like to say that India also had a strategic eye in reaching any deal with the US, because it is in India's best interest too. Today China threatens India with apples and oranges through Central Asia & HK, tomorrow who knows what it could be. Was the witch reference to Ms. Gandhi? I respect the lady, but reading history about her it felt like she had a communist approach sometimes, forcing people into doing stuff. But yes, the reference is utter disrespect considering all she has done for India. But I hope what you hope: US makes it stand with India and Pak clear, as there is going to be a lot of cooperation between the two in the future. One thing we know: US doesn't want India to have a permanent seat on the UN Security Council.

11:29 PM  
Blogger venus said...

yeah, my reference to "witch" was for Ms. Gandhi.

I don't know if you have watched "Lord of the Wars", during the last few minutes, there is a narration, which referes to the permanent members of the UN Security Counsil, which reflects bluntness, selfishness of the perm members countries.

7:08 AM  
Blogger Khakra said...

i'll check that out venus -- thanks for the tip-off.

12:01 AM  

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