Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Liam Halligan — India Is Crucial to Russia's Pivot East

The Russian-India bond is nearly as important as the emerging Russsia-China relationship…
While there’s been little discussion of the growing détente between Russia and India in the Western media, it could prove of similar significance to that between Russia and China. 
The two countries were Cold War quasi-allies, of course, with India a leading member of the “Nonaligned Movement” of Soviet-sympathizing developing nations. 
During the late 1960s and 70s, India saw the USSR as its main supporter on the UN Security Council and there was extensive collaboration across the scientific and defence sectors, with warm relations developing between Soviet and Indian elites. 
The collapse of the USSR, then, was traumatic for India, leading to a surge of economic cooperation with the US, as business between India and Russia withered. 
That trend is now being reversed. Bilateral trade is expanding fast despite – or even partly because of – Western sanctions against Russia. 
Modi went as far as to declare his “opposition to sanctions imposed on Moscow without UN endorsement” during his summit with Putin, openly chiding the EU and US. 
He even expressed interest in joining the Russia-dominated Eurasian Economic Union, as well as the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation – an increasingly important trade and security organisation linking China, Russia and the Central Asian former Soviet states.…
India’s newfound audacity – as shown by Modi’s embrace of Russia and general West-baiting – stems from growing economic clout. With 1.2bn people, and already the world’s tenth-largest economy, India is on course to rank second behind China by 2040 – with the US by then coming in third. 
On a purchasing power parity basis, adjusting for living costs, India is already the third-largest economy on earth.…
The EU and US have tried to punish Moscow with sanctions that have triggered steep drops in the ruble against the dollar and euro. Yet Modi, like China’s President Xi Jinping, has decided to ignore the West and use the sanctions as an opportunity to strengthen commercial and diplomatic relations with Russia instead. 
The growing bond between China and Russia, given their shared interests, is among the mega-trends of our time. The deepening relationship between Russia and India isn’t far behind.
Heartburn in Washington.

Russia Insider
India Is Crucial to Russia's Pivot East
Liam Halligan | Business New Europe

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