INDIA. New Delhi: Asserting both India and China have responsible leadership and are capable of solving their internal matters, Russian President Vladimir Putin underlined the need to debar interference of any extra-regional powers in the process.
Russia has been publicly critical of The Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad), a four-nation alliance between India, the U.S., Japan and Australia, which the Chinese are apprehensive about and believe is aimed at containing China’s Influence in the Indo- Pacific region. Moscow, however, remains critical that no nation should make partnerships with other countries.
Soon after the disintegration of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), India which followed a Soviet-centric defense procurement needed to energize its bilateral ties, which was affected by the signing of the “Declaration of Strategic Cooperation” in 2000. Also, Russia could see the U.S. hegemony in the international arena and cast Moscow as the leader of the supposed trilateral grouping of Russia-India-China against the U.S.-led unipolar world.
India’s apprehension about this unipolar moment made it an early proponent of this strategic triangle. China, meanwhile, saw India as its only competition in the Asian front and adopted a dismissive attitude towards Indian capabilities, coupled with an emerging China-Pakistan nexus, which prevented the success of this trilateral.
With the dawn of economic liberalization, India saw a global market with opportunities for defense procurement which included dealings with France and Isreal. As the deeper engagement was established with the West, the logical corollary was following rapprochement diplomacy with the U.S. China saw this rapprochement as an attempt of containment.
Impact of Quad on Russia-India-China trio
During a press conference with the Indian News Agency PTI, Putin clarified that India, like any sovereign nation, has the right to choose its foreign policy and can become a member of the Quad that China opposes vehemently.
High-level cooperation is imperative not only for the trio but holds importance on the global front as well. Furthermore, Russia-India-China ties are not only limited to advance weapon systems and technologies but are multifaceted.
It is true that China is a major player in the Asia Pacific and both India and Russia are highly dependent on China for their economies — trade and investment. But, considering economic partnership and military sales, India is no less crucial to Russia, especially when the country is facing Western sanctions.
Russia is yet to realize the immense potential Indo-Pacific seeks to promote in the Asian geopolitics and cannot simply see China as the undisputed player on this front.