The comrades and their divergent perspectives

By The Hindu

Russian President Vladimir Putin has recently asserted that both the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, and the Chinese President, Xi Jinping, are “responsible” enough to solve issues between their countries, while underlining the need to debar any “extra-regional power” to interfere in the process.

The implications of Mr. Putin’s advice for India are numerous and far-reaching as Moscow expects New Delhi to ignominiously give up all efforts to reverse Beijing’s encroachment strategies. The Russians may have their reasons to remain blind to China’s growing aggressiveness, but the Indians have learned to expect at Chinese hands an unremitting effort to undermine India’s global position — to destroy their confidence in themselves and the confidence of others in them — and to reduce India to a state of isolation and impotence in global affairs.

The Quad factor
Mr. Putin’s remarks can only be seen as reinforcing China’s claim that the Quadrilateral or Quad (comprising India, the United States, Japan and Australia) is aimed at containing Beijing’s influence in the Indo-Pacific region. In fact, Mr. Putin’s assertion is the logical extension of views expressed by Russia’s Ambassador to India, Nikolay Kudashev.

Sometime ago, he had advised New Delhi to take a “larger look at Chinese foreign policies”, while describing the Indo-Pacific strategy as an effort to revive the Cold War mentality. Russia’s Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, has frequently, and quite acerbically, lashed out at the Quad.

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