By Dr. Rahul Kumar
Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov is likely to visit India April 5-6. Hopefully, during his visit to India, several MOUs are likely to be signed between Russia & India to strengthen pathways to the Russia- India strategic partnership.
The outgoing US Ambassador to India Kenneth I. Juster in his interview with Indian Express(Jan 08,2021) said, trade, Russia, self-reliant India as friction points – India must choose. This statement by the outgoing US Ambassador shows that the US wants India should remain always under her thump. In the case of Russia, it is the opposite. Russia always wanted India a self-reliant country while pursuing policies of friendship, openness. Russian Ambassador to India Nikolai Kudashev on the eve of ‘Diplomats Day’ emphasized boosting up people to people contact between Russia and India is an urgent task. The fact of the matter is that Russia is a trusted friend of India.
What are the opportunities for the two countries and how this visit by the Russian Foreign Minister can be useful. There are industries such as Education, Tourism & Health in which both the nations can work together to develop. As India has already permitted 100% FDI in these sectors, Russia should take advantage of this initiative and invest in India. Similarly, India should send Indian students to the Russian world-renowned technical universities to learn the nitty-gritty of the cutting-edge technology. In the Health sector, India and Russia should join hands because India still lacks behind in the industry. Russia is capable to upgrade Indian Health industry. The Air Charter industry has a huge economic potential between India & Russia. There is an urgent need to promote this industry by liberalizing the existing policies. India with the help of Russia can modernize its military that guards India`s territory against external aggression.
India – Russia should expand cooperation across multiple domains, markedly in investment, technology, and the knowledge economy & defense & security without ifs and buts. Post Covid-19, the need of the hour is to achieve political, military & economic integration between India & Russia.
Indian media is reporting that Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov is likely to visit Pakistan after completing his journey in India. Pro-American lobbyists in India or abroad need to revisit history books. Moscow` major overture came in January 1966 when Soviet premier Alexei Kosygin succeeded in brokering a compromise between Indian Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shahstri and President Ayub (American puppet) of Pakistan, which officially ended the 1965 Indian Pakistani war. During the 1971 war between India and Pakistan, Russia stood by India whereas other Western powers including the US clandestinely supported Pakistan against India. Another shot in the arm, in 2013, Narendra Modi was denied an American visa that bruised the pride of the nation.
We live in a globalized world. No nation can survive without having economic & political ties with each other. India is having bilateral relations with as many countries as possible. So Russia has the full right to have bilateral relations with Pakistan unless these relations do not harm the interests of India. To fulfill economic & political objectives in the West Asia region like Iran, India needs a trusted friend when it has a territorial dispute with China. In the West Asia region, Russia can be the best friend for India to achieve her economic & political goals so India should trust Russia and welcome it with an open mind. Indian external affairs minister Dr. S. Jai Shanker and his team should think out of the box since India is losing friends in the Asia region to China. Remarkably, Russia can play a very constructive role in building up friendships between India and Pakistan. If that can be achieved India should not wait further as India and Pakistan have already suffered a lot on account of animosity. Every nation of the world is pestered with terrorism. Russia and India are capable to stop the spread of tentacles of terrorism to the region. The military alliance between India and Russia can also play a major global role in crushing terrorism in the region.
India must keep in mind that the diplomacy of America is a diplomacy of economic sanctions and political coercion. Till the recent time, India was importing oil from Iran with a credit line and that too in Indian rupees but the US establishment has placed stringent sanctions on Iran. By doing so, the US establishment has caused colossal damage to the Indian economy. The friendship between former US President Donald Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi could not achieve what was supposed to be achieved for the betterment of the region. Rather, western scholars projected both the leaders as dictators of liberal democracy.
US`s Machiavellian ventures in the Middle East countries brought the destruction of millions of human lives. Former US President stated, “We are not the policemen of the world”. This is nothing but a white lie. The CIA of the US is everywhere in the world. Take the case of Iraq & Syria. The respective puppet governments of these countries were either toppled or killed by the CIA of the US. Many Western scholars claim that it is the US that invested heavily in the ISIS. Today, most of the European nations are made bankrupt by the US in the name of Islamic terrorism. Now is the time for India to choose between a friend and a foe.
Dr. Rahul Kumar, Ph.D., is a senior journalist. His area of expertise covers international relations and foreign policy. The views expressed in this article are personal and do not represent the policy of the paper.