Why does Russia agree to help India and Pakistan together?

  • ahmed iqbal
  • bbc correspondent

putin and modi

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The Russian ambassador to India, Denis Alipov, has said that his country wants to increase its economic partnership with Pakistan, as he believes that a “weak” Pakistan will not benefit anyone in the region, including India and Afghanistan.

India Right Network and Center for Global India Insights organized a conference in Delhi on Monday on the 30th anniversary of the India-Russia friendship agreement in 1993.

The theme of the conference was “Next Steps in India-Russia Strategic Partnership: Old Friends, New Horizon.”

According to the PTI news agency, addressing this conference, Ambassador Denis Alipov said many important things about India and Pakistan.

He later clarified by tweeting that what he meant was that an unstable Pakistan is not in the interest of any country in the region.

He further said that a strong Pakistan against India is also not in anyone’s interest and especially in India’s interest.

Denis Alipov was sent to India in January 2022 by Russia as its ambassador.

He has been a diplomat and has so much experience in India that he is considered a “dedicated India expert”.

Responding to India’s concerns about improving Russia’s relations with Pakistan, Alipov said his country would never do anything that harms India’s interests.

“We have consistently maintained that we will never do anything to the detriment of India in our relations with Pakistan. We have limited defense relations with Islamabad. But these are very limited and are directed towards anti-terrorism objectives,” he said.

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Russian Ambassador to India Denis Alipov

Following Ambassador Alipov’s statement, people have given different reactions.

In such a situation, the question arises how to understand and analyze your statement.

‘There is nothing special about the statement’

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Professor Sanjay Pandey of the Center for Russian and Central Asian Studies at the Delhi-based Jawaharlal Nehru University says no special meaning should be drawn from the Russian ambassador’s statement.

In a conversation with the BBC, Professor Pandey said that the relationship between Russia and Pakistan is not new, it has a long history.

Professor Pandey says: “In the year 1949, the then Soviet Union invited the Prime Minister of Pakistan to visit Russia. Even in the Tashkent Agreement of 1965, the role of Russia cannot be said to be entirely in favor of India. 1990s In 2015, Russia tried to improve relations with Pakistan. Since 2015-16, Russia and Pakistan have become closer.”

According to him, joint military exercises between Russia and Pakistan have been held since 2016, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Pakistani Prime Minister met during the SCO meeting in Samarkand in 2022 and on the day Russia attacked Ukraine in February 2022, the then Prime Minister of Pakistan. Imran Khan was also in Russia.

‘Russia wants to send a message’

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But Professor Harsh Pant, an expert on international affairs and an associate with ORF, says that Russia wants to give a message to India through Ambassador Alipov’s statement.

Speaking to the BBC, Professor Harsh Pant says: “Russia wants to give a message to India that if India does not look after Russia’s interests, then Russia also has the option of engaging in relations with Pakistan.”

Relations between Russia and India have been very special and Russia decides its foreign policy in South Asia keeping India at the center.

But does such a statement indicate that Russia is considering a change in its foreign policy in South Asia?

And if Russia is thinking like that, what do Pakistan and Russia have that they can both give to each other?

Professor Sanjay Pandey says the irony of Russia-Pakistan relations is that the two have nothing to give each other.

Russia’s defense industry earns billions of dollars every year due to defense and strategic relations with India, but Pakistan does not even have enough money to buy modern weapons from Russia.

Professor Harsh Pant also believes that Pakistan’s condition is so bad at present that it is not capable of becoming a financial partner or helping to change its defense policy.

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trying to isolate russia

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So why would Russia try to move into Pakistan?

In response to this, Professor Sanjay Pandey says that the United States and Western countries are trying to isolate Russia, in such a situation Russia is trying to improve its relations with many countries, including Africa, and Pakistan is still a neighboring country. .

According to Professor Harsh Pant, getting closer to Russia and Pakistan is not a big deal, but if Russia, Pakistan and China get closer and form some kind of group, then it will be a major event.

Professor Pant says the US-China-Pakistan alliance was a cause of trouble for India during the Cold War, while Russia was India’s closest ally. But now, if Russia, China and Pakistan meet, it will be a matter of concern for India.

indian concern

According to Professor Pant, the success of India’s foreign policy in recent years has been that it has completely marginalized Pakistan internationally, but if Russia, China and Pakistan come together, India’s concern will naturally increase. .

According to him, through Russia, India has managed to put pressure on the Taliban to prevent extremism from turning to India.

But if the friendship between Russia and Pakistan increases, then there will be a danger that extremist organizations active in Afghanistan and Central Asia will turn to India.

But Professor Sanjay Pandey says this is not a major concern because Russia, China and Pakistan have come together on Afghanistan many times in recent years.

The question also arises as to whether Pakistan will dare to completely put itself in the camp of Russia and China, denying its historical relationship with the United States.

According to Professor Sanjay Pandey, Pakistan cannot have such courage, because Pakistan is the most in need of money right now and it is knocking on the door of the IMF.

Pakistan needs the help of the United States and Western countries to get a loan from the IMF, in this case, even its old friend China can’t help much, and Russia can’t do anything.

But it is also true that China will never allow Pakistan to completely break away from Russia.

Professor Harsh Pant also believes that China will never allow Pakistan to become so weak that India can establish supremacy over it.

So what would be the best strategy for India?

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According to Professor Sanjay Pandey, in recent years and especially after the Ukrainian war, many countries are trying to balance their relations with each other and Russia is also trying to achieve the same balance.

According to him, Russia understands the importance of its relations with India, but at the same time it would not want to leave Pakistan completely.

Professor Sanjay Pandey says that when it comes to arms supply, it is not possible for India to find a reliable partner like Russia, which would also transfer technology and do joint production.

Apart from this, India would never want there to be any kind of distance with Russia and would be completely in China’s camp.

Professor Sanjay says that in the case of Ukraine, many countries, including Vietnam, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, are balancing their relations with Western countries and Russia.

According to him, for the time being, India will also maintain the balance in its relations in the same way.

Professor Sanjay Pandey says: “India will not oppose Russia on Ukraine, but on many other issues, India will continue to advance relations with the US and the West.”

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