India’s relations, Between US and Russia: Defining a proper Strategy
As the Indian economy has grown over the years, so has the challenges. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has definitely changed the way the world looks at India today. He started his tenure by making rapid tours of international capitols and meeting the premiers of these countries. He kept restraint and made first move with Pakistan and china thus behaving like a matured leader who is willing to take initiative and cross the line to make peace. He didn’t attack Pakistan in impulse when the Pathankot terror incident happened. All these has created huge goodwill factor for the PM which was seen and came handy during the surgical attack post Uri attack.
However the real challenges for Modi comes from various directions. One of them is to how to balance Russia and United States of America or whom to marry, as flirtations and dating are good nevertheless has constraints.
Recently US has shown great flexibility towards India, and has made open gestures, also spoken in no uncertain terms against terrorism and Pakistan. More than $15 billion of defence deals were signed with America since 2007, a clear indication of needle swinging towards US. The old establishment that favours Russia was definitely uneasy with this arrangement while the newer generation wants close and strong ties with US. There is a certain reasoning and logic behind both these positions and therefore it will be a disaster to outright discard one against the other. The natural affinity with US along with both countries having strong democracy is a big factor towards US, while the long standing and time tested relations with Russia is a plus point.
In recent times, both Russia and US have seen decline in their power for various reasons. While Russia is trying hard under Putin to regain its lost power, the United States is still in a weak position. The current presidential race has also tilt the balance in favour of democratic candidate Hilary Clinton which if fructifies may not help US to regain its control over geo political scenario dramatically. However there is a chance that, Trump for all his lewd candidate would certainly give US some shot in the arm through his eccentric and bullish policy agenda.
While there are no permanent friends or foes in diplomacy and especially international relationships, India must carefully tread the path carefully ahead and needs to keep both Russia and US in good humour. IN other words the dating needs to continue for some more time before saying Yes I do. While some may argue that India was already married to Russia and US was an outsider, we will say that the marriage came quite close but the rings were not ceremonised officially. Therefore the relations between Russia didn’t break and continued.
The various deals signed with Russia will certainly be a big boost towards lifting the sagging relationship between the two countries. (http://www.reuters.com/article/us-india-russia-idUSKBN12F0BP).
While the bonhomie between Obama and Modi looked more superficial, the hug between Putin and Modi looks more natural and strong. It is as if two old friends meeting other after days. Besides genetically both are dynamic and aggressive as against soft DNA structure of President Obama.
However Personal relationships can be temporary all though highly useful in boosting relationship over a short period of time.
Nonetheless these gains can run over a long period of time and can prove very beneficial.
To that extent it will be certainly be a very good and positive action for both Modi and Putin to cement the relationship.
All though Russia has become closer to China in recent times, the reason for the same being anti US positions, in real terms the relationship cannot go beyond a certain threshold as the old prover says ” Cat and Dog cannot be neighbours for long’ while one other and rather ambiguous saying ” Good fences make good neighbours” poses more questions than answer in an straightforward manner.
Geographically, Historically and culturally India and Russia are more closer than but least exploited for no good reasons. Russia supplies and delays certainly has issues but can be dealt and negotiated when you are signing billion of dollars deals and the Russian economy not in good shape.
The visit of President Putin is a good opportunity to increase and bolster the ties between the two countries. PM Modi should take one step further and make sure that Putin has his heart, hands and pocket filled with love, deals and dollars.
As far as America is concerned let it give some more strong indications about its seriousness towards India which should be more strategic in nature and not just temporal based upon changing Geo political situation. India needs unconditional and strong friends who can withstand with it against the time and situation factor.0