Summit meetings of heads of state and heads of government are never without agenda or context. Such meetings have special objectives and they are held in the shadow of the situation of the country. The Indian Prime Minister’s meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin immediately after the much-discussed meeting of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping in the Chinese city of Wuhan in April should be viewed from this perspective.
Today, the global geopolitical situation is going through extensive turmoil which is also affecting the internal and external politics and trade of the countries. In such a situation, to say that this was not the pre-determined agenda of the recent meetings or whether the various issues were discussed openly among the leaders are meaningless things.
If we look at the government’s own statements, it is easy to understand what the Modi-Putin talks mean. The statement of the Indian Ministry of External Affairs says that the two leaders agree that ‘both countries have to play an important role for an open and equal world order’.
Acting As A Catalyst
National Security Advisory Board chief PS Raghavan said that the main catalyst behind this meeting is today’s geopolitical environment. They have also said that we want to maintain partnership with Russia and Iran without affecting relations with America.
After all, is this the geopolitical environment, due to which the Indian Prime Minister has to repeatedly talk about the multi-polar world in Davos, Wuhan and Sochi? The answer is simple. The aggression with which US President Donald Trump is adopting protectionist policies is also having a negative impact on Indian interests.
There has been a confusion in the Modi government’s foreign policy from the very beginning stage and there is neither stability nor direction in the policies. As a result of the practice of everyone, the result has been that neither there was significant success at the level of investment nor could he increase his stature in international politics. This can be understood from the statement of Prime Minister Modi when he met President Putin. In the last four years, both leaders have met directly and multilaterally on several occasions. Despite this, the Prime Minister had to make an emotional reference to the long relationship between President Putin and the two countries?
The foreign policy of the Modi government has played a major role in weakening the BRICS platform and making the SAARC organization almost meaningless. In order to increase proximity to the US, there was an escalation from China and Russia was ignored. As a result, Russia and China grew closer, relations between Russia and Pakistan improved and Russia’s role in Afghanistan increased.
Two years ago, many experts were suggesting to the government that relations with Russia need to be taken seriously because it has been established as a major power. But the American government fell in love, did not heed these advice. Now that the government has entered the election year, it needs investment.
The rise in oil prices and the strengthening of the dollar have worried the government for some time. America’s trade war with China was becoming a problem for the global economy, that President Trump had decided to impose harsh economic sanctions on Iran, separating himself from the Iran nuclear deal. Along with this, America is also talking about cutting off Europe and other countries of the world from Iran.
It is noteworthy that America’s economic sanctions are also imposed on Russia. Russia also has good trade relations with the countries of Iran and Europe. He is with India only. We are major importers of Iranian oil. Chabahar is also a partner of the plan to create traffic from the port and Iran to Russia via Central Asia. Both these projects have economic importance as well as strategic. In this, apart from Iran, India’s interests are connected with the interests of Afghanistan and Russia.
Before the Prime Minister’s visit to Russia last month, Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman went to Moscow for three days. She was a commerce minister before being made the defense minister. She was active in World Trade Organization meetings. This month, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale also visited Moscow.
At present, the biggest concern of India is oil prices. The mutual cooperation of the two countries in the field of energy is very solid. There has been talk of building a pipeline from Russia to India for a long time. Russian company Rossneft’s investment in Essar is the largest foreign investment. Indian investment in Russia’s hydrocarbon business is more than 10 billion dollars. There are also plans for shared projects in this area.
Russia is a major producer of oil. Its production reached a level of around 11 million barrels a day in March. It is a straight account that rising oil prices are great news for the Russian treasury. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has also met President Putin a few days before Prime Minister Modi goes to Sochi.
A few days later, the French President and the Japanese Prime Minister will also meet the Russian leader. It is also noteworthy that European countries are also trying to get out of American pressure along with saving the Iranian agreement with China and Russia. Many observers believe that America’s attitude can push Europe towards better relations with Russia, China and Iran. After all, Europe is also concerned about its economic interests!
There are signs of withdrawal of US forces from Syria. The countries involved in NATO do not agree on a major war in the Middle East. Keeping close with Iran and Syria
Russia is also improving relations with Israel, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. China, as a major economic power, is doing multilateral relations well.
In such a scenario, India has no option but to improve relations with Russia and China. The difficult thing is that India’s exercises are being decided by immediate interests rather than being driven by policy vision. It should be hoped that Prime Minister Modi’s recent visits will not only be limited to capturing captivating photographs but will also become a means of benefiting the country on the economic and strategic front.
It is a matter of regret that the Indian leadership lacks the necessary willpower to have a large economy and threaten on the international stage. Remember, when India has made a concrete statement on some big and disputed global issue or it has taken some big initiative!