The Russia-India Romance

raj_kapoor010510.jpgWe’ve given the recent Bollywood summit between Dmitry Medvedev and Mahoman Singh a bit of coverage, but here MK Bhadrakumar gets more in depth.  Despite his baroque, flowery writing style, the author provides a glimpse into the future of BRIC to BRIC relations, or as Putin is fond of describing it, multi-vector diplomacy.

Shorn of diplomatese, New Delhi would nonchalantly accelerate its strategic ties with Washington which, as India understands, is bent on “containing” China, while Sino-Russian ties are deepening and expanding and the two countries increasingly coordinate their stance on regional and international issues, as the latest instance over North Korea amply testifies. New Delhi expects Moscow not to get flustered by the cut and thrust of U.S.-India ties, which by far outstrip Russia’s reset with the U.S. and are of a qualitatively different character.

India would giveprimacy to bilateral issues in the partnership with Russia. Whereverthere is convergence on regional and international issues, that is fine.And if there is any divergence, that’s only natural and the twocountries learn to live with it. The joint statement issued after Mr.Medvedev’s visit reflects this new thinking. It underscores that Indiaand Russia can still have a “strong convergence of their views onregional and international issues of importance to the security of bothcountries.” But then, that’s blasé. Russia’s joint statement with Chinafollowing the summit in Beijing in late September 2010 pledged the twocountries to promote a “new security concept” on the basis of mutualtrust, mutual benefits, equality and cooperation.

TheSino-Russian statement promised mutual support for each other’s coreinterests. The Russian-Indian statement remains silent on the Indianstance on , say, Russian interests in the Caucasus or the Russian stanceon India’s differences with Pakistan.