ThePrint recently published an article titled “Has Russia Hyphenated India & Pakistan? Growing Moscow-Islamabad Ties Have Delhi ‘Worried’”, which cites top sources who shared their concerns about the India-Russia relationship.
Nobody should doubt that those said sources veritably exist and sincerely believe in what they said, but it’s arguably the case that their interpretation of events is shaped by a lingering problem of perceptions between Russia and India. Both countries have risen as Great Powers over the past decade and are more confidently asserting their interests outside of their regions. Russia currently pursues what many have simply described as a “balancing” act, while India officially refers to its policy as “multi-alignment”.
They’re essentially the same thing though, and have seen each Great Power expand relations with non-traditional partners such as Pakistan and the US. Neither country is doing so with any intention of harming their traditional partner’s interests, though India seems to interpret Russia’s rapid rapprochement with Pakistan as being against its own. For its part, Russia has repeatedly voiced its concerns about the Quad that India forms a pivotal part of, warning against it being used to contain China at the US’ behest.
The Quad is an altogether different topic of conversation and might be analysed in a separate article, but the focus of this one is on how some top Indian sources reportedly regard the recent improvement in Russia-Pakistan relations.
Russia’s balancing act
India’s rise as a Great Power has seen it aspire for regional leadership status in South Asia. There’s no question that New Delhi commands powerful influence in many of the subcontinent’s capitals