India-Russia: News & Analysis

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Re: India-Russia: News & Analysis

Postby hnair » 21 Sep 2015 09:23

The temperature in this thread is rising. Dont want a repeat of last time, when a few bans had to be handed out. Please exercise caution, everyone.

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Re: India-Russia: News & Analysis

Postby SSridhar » 21 Sep 2015 13:17

Russia's New Game Plan - Amb. P. Stobdan, IDSA Issue Brief
On September 9, geopolitics unexpectedly hit the news headlines when Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov made an important statement about the ongoing talks between Moscow and Islamabad on the delivery of Russian multirole Mi-35M attack helicopters and the latest Su-35 fighter jets. Ryabkov said Pakistan is Russia's “closest partner” and the ties between the two countries are evolving beyond the military sphere to include other sectors such as energy. At the same time, he also suggested that this will not have a negative impact on relations between Moscow and New Delhi.

Coming from a top Russian official, these statements cannot be considered as a mere kite flying stunt by the Russian media. Such a tectonic strategic shift may not have come as a pleasant news to Indian ears, but before we react to this startling change in the Russian position, it is important to first understand the deeper and nuanced aspects of Russia’s motives.

Interestingly, within days of Ryabkov’s statement, a prominent Russian political analyst Andrew Korybko provocatively detailed why Pakistan is gaining pivotal importance in the Russian geo-strategic calculus. The article, titled “Pakistan is the “Zipper” of Pan-Eurasian Integration”, appeared on 15 September on the website of the Russian government funded think-tank – Russian Institute for Strategic Studies (RISS) established by the President of the Russian Federation. The RISS puts up policy papers to the President’s office, the Federation Council, the State Duma and the Security Council as well as to Government offices, ministries and departments. (The RISS has closely interacted with IDSA in the past and the two institutions have signed a MoU for joint research. However, the Russian think-tank has not shown much interest for cooperation with IDSA in the past few years).

As a keen watcher of Eurasian affairs, I thought it is important to share the significant points articulated by Andrew Korybko in his rather astounding article so that the Indian strategic community can understand the new thinking among informed Russian circles.

In Part I of his article, Korybko deals with the ‘zipper’ concept of how Pakistan can draw together four of Eurasia’s most prominent economic entities, and examines the key imperatives for Russia to build a strong Strategic Partnership with Pakistan. In Part II, he does crystal gazing on the most probable ways in which the US can attempt to offset everything or derail Pakistan’s future destiny of joining the Eurasian integration process.

Korbyko’s article begins by saying that contrary to popular myth about Pakistan as a “backward land of terrorism and poverty” that carries little actual weight, the West purposefully neglects the country’s rising geopolitical importance in Eurasia and its potential to connect the massive economies of the Eurasian Union, Iran, SAARC, and China to create an integrated pan-Eurasian economic zone.

The article then elaborates why Russia recognises Pakistan’s prime geopolitical potential and how it is manoeuvring to speed up the development of full-spectrum relations with this “South Asian gatekeeper.” It says that Russia’s overarching goal is to provide a “non-provocative balancing component to bolster Pakistan’s regional political position and assist with its peaceful integration into the [b]multi-polar Eurasian framework being constructed by the Sino-Russian Strategic Partnership.”[/b]

Interestingly, it draws attention to China’s grand vision of building a trans-Pakistani trade corridor under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which could be a catalyst for connecting the four economic blocs together. This includes linking of the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) with SAARC intersecting at the Xinjiang-Pakistan junction to be developed under the CPEC.

From the Russian perspective, the article suggests, the CPEC not only represents a “geopolitical pivot for China, but also a geo-economic one”, for “it’ll position the country within easy access to the Mideast oil fields”. This is the only way China will be able to quell the “externally orchestrated destabilization that it’s lately found itself experiencing in Xinjiang.”

It stresses the importance of the Iran-Pakistan-China pipeline project (a part of the CPEC) becoming a reality and suggests that “should Xinjiang succeed in becoming a significant Eurasian trading hub in connecting China, Eurasian Union, SAARC, and Iran, then it would catapult in geo-economic significance to become an ultra-strategic Heartland region.”

On the prospect of India joining the Eurasian system, Korbyko’s article says that the touchy issue of India’s claim over “Pakistan-administered Kashmir” could come in the way. However, “if Indian companies employ this route, the economic allure might be too tempting to resist.” Further, if Indo-Pak differences could be relaxed (perhaps within the SCO framework), then “the organization would finally be able to cash in on its economic capability and fully integrate with itself and the rest of Eurasia.”

Importantly, the article discloses how Russia’s strategic ties with Pakistan are moving towards very “exciting future possibilities” despite Russia being “India’s closest friend”. It notes that the emerging trend might appear somewhat “perplexing” but it isn’t all that “unexpected.” Because, the end of the Cold War and the subsequent emergence of South Asian “nuclear bipolarity” have reduced the intensity of Indo-Russian strategic ties as well as America’s dealings with Pakistan. These shifts in focus (India’s westward and Pakistan’s eastward) do not, however, suggest that either India or Pakistan has completely deserted its erstwhile partner; only that they are seeking adjustments to protect their national interest in the changed context. But at the same time, these shifts in focus have not yet altered the Indo-Pak standoff. In this context, the article notes, both India and Pakistan seem to be willing to give multilateralism under Eurasia a chance, as evident from their entry into the SCO.

More interestingly, the author points to the [b]Kremlin’s calculation of its ability to intermediate between Beijing and New Delhi in the event of a major India-China crisis. But he also says that Russia does not enjoy the same leverage to do so in an India-Pakistan conflict situation.
As a result, in the latter situation, Moscow would prefer to “push the US into the mix – giving it plenty of opportunity to divide and conquer according to the present geopolitical circumstances.” Korybko then goes to point out that “if Russia were to compensate for its diplomatic ‘blind spot’ with Pakistan and reinvigorate the bilateral relationship with Islamabad, then it could mirror the role that it plays between India and China in also helping to balance the tension between India and Pakistan.” This strategy, the article argues, would eventually “push the US out of the playing field, though India will still retain its current level of ties with the US but not for the purpose counterbalancing Pakistan.” It suggests that both India and Pakistan would then rather rely on their same “trusted partner Russia”, which for its part will be able to mediate between the two (like it does with India and China).

The article admits to the trust deficit between India and Pakistan as the weakest link in the ‘zipper’ vision, though the vision could still succeed without the SAARC component because the “EEU would gain by India’s physical incorporation into the unified Eurasian infrastructural framework.” Korybko also points to Russian diplomatic and strategic competence being capable of minimizing Indo-Pak discord and exploring the economic benefit of their peaceful collaboration.

The Russian analyst then explains how Russia made the first strategic move in this regard in June 2014 by offering to sell attack helicopters to Pakistan for the latter’s drug-combating efforts. Though the “paradigm shift” was attributed by many to Russia’s concerns over post-2014 NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan, the main idea was to initiate the process of depolarisation in India-Pakistan tensions and to make the multi-polar concept more cohesive as a result. The article says that Russia’s next move would be to help Pakistan with technical expertise for building a portion of the Iran-Pakistan-China gas pipeline in the near future.

According to the write up, Pakistan’s own excitement has increased after sensing the enormous economic opportunities that will unfold after CPEC completion. Pakistanis could see the “writing on the wall” and even contemplate sealing a free trade agreement with the Eurasian Union. This signifies how seriously Russia takes its evolving partnership with Pakistan. The article underlines how the relationship is also gaining a soft power touch, with both sides preparing for their first-ever cultural exchange year. In a symbolic significance of what is likely to come, the article says that “Pakistan’s national military band performed at the Moscow International Music Festival.”

The article notes that “there should thus be no doubt at this point about the commitment of both sides for deepening the relationship as the ongoing interactions between the two are beyond passing convergence of business interests.” It further says that “Both sides understand the larger significance of what they’re doing”, which is to work for the “shared vision of an integrated and multi-polar Eurasia.”

However, on the down side and for the Eurasian enterprise to succeed, the author anticipates that CPEC and the ‘zipper’ plan could face a major blow either due to instability within Pakistan or India’s possible refusal to participate in it.

Interestingly, the article notes that any possibility of all-round Russia-Pakistan engagement could speed up Indo-US proximity which, in turn, will lead to provocation by the “US and its information proxies”. Things could also be exacerbated by an exaggerated “Indian threat assessment of Russia’s activities.” Any Indian paranoia over Russia’s ‘sliding away’ to join the China-Pakistan ‘axis’ would consequently negate the main reasons behind the Russian-Pakistan strategic partnership, which is to “place Moscow in a position to intermediate between New Delhi and Islamabad and keep regional relations stable enough so as to jump start the envisioned multilateral economic partnership.” {I am not sure if the Russians are bringing in here a convoluted argument to justify their 'sliding away' from India to join China-Pakistan axis (their own words) in order to push their own agenda (of which we may not be very clear now) or they are making a serious error of judgement by aligning with the Pakistanis. In either case, they must go through the US-Pakistan history. The US supplied arms, trained the Pakistani military and supported that state in order to expect cooperation from them in its anti-Communism plank. Pakistan did nothing of that sort. In fact, it ended up being on the sides of both the Chinese and the Americans at the same time. Pakistan's calculus in its relationship with the US was to use it against India and India alone. With China, this policy of India-paranoia did not lead to any issues because China considers India as an enemy too. The Russian situation is not like that}

[b]The author, however, argues that Russia’s Pakistan gambit might fail most likely because of the United States playing dirty. In such a scenario, Russia would be worse off and risk losing a major strategic partner in India. Pakistan, on the other hand, will “never see its relation with Russia as equal level to one it has with China.”


The article cautions that Russia needs to proceed delicately taking into consideration how the Indian establishment views Russia’s evolving ties with Pakistan. It does not discount the ability of the US to split Russia and India through Pakistan, like it did with Russia and the European Union through Ukraine (although for different reasons).

The author fears the possibility of the US creating a rift through “information warfare” especially when Indo-US defence ties are deepening. He notes that this could have in a way “possibly played a part in influencing Moscow’s decision to resume arms exports to Pakistan.” The article draws attention to the saliency of “underreported military development” that makes the US more integral to India’s national security, and this it says coincides with New Delhi’s strategic overlap with the US in containing China. “The longer this progresses, the further the US will embed itself into India’s deep state apparatus {It may be true but the Soviet Union did or attempted to do the same during the 70s, 80s & 90s. It is something India will always have to be wary of whether it is the US or USSR, now Russia.} , with all of the unfortunate foreign policy consequences for the multi-polar world” the article notes.

The writer then dwells on the personal rapport shared between Modi and Obama and other aspects of the Indo-US friendship which, he thinks, could be an “exaggerated charade for political purposes, there’s nothing tangible to indicate that this is the case” and by itself doesn’t pose any worries for Russia.” But what really worries Russia is the possibility of Obama leveraging his friendship with Modi to “enact certain policy shifts”, such as “his encouragement to India’s Act East policy for unstated reason that can aggravate relations with China.” According to Korybko, Russian interests would be most endangered by the “US winning over India into viewing the Russian-Pakistan strategic partnership as a threat” and suggests that Putin should “continually reinforce his relationship with Modi so that the latter is insusceptible to being tricked by Obama into doubting the Russian President’s intentions.”(It is pertinent to note here that in his congratulatory message to Prime Minister Modi on his 65th birthday, issued by the Kremlin on September 17, President Putin praised how the Prime Minister rightly enjoys high international authority both in his homeland and abroad as a proficient politician and statesman. The message says “we highly appreciate your efforts to strengthen the special and privileged strategic partnership between our countries, develop Russian-Indian interaction in solving topical issues of the regional and global agenda.”)

Further, the article points to the likelihood of American involvement in creating instability in Baluchistan. Baluch separatism driven by American interests is not just for destabilising Gwadar (the source of CPEC) or for the political fragmentation of Pakistan but to create a new geopolitical space to be carved out of the Iranian province of Sistan and Baluchistan as well. Such a Baluch proxy, it says, could provide the US with a greater degree of influence over both Iran and India in controlling trans-regional transport connectivity. Of course, the author cites the Pentagon’s foremost author Lieutenant-Colonel Ralph Peters’ infamous map Blood Borders: How a Better Middle East Would Look, which specifically earmarks a “Free Baluchistan” carved out of Iranian and Pakistani territory.

Korybko then moves beyond the Baluch separatist scenario to highlight the presence of militant Islamic radicalism in FATA – the most important destabilising factor in Pakistan. To add to that he draws attention to the rise of ISIL and its “expansive neo-Caliphate ideology” in Afghanistan’s three provinces of Farah (west), Helmand (south), and Nangarhar (east). The ISIL, he says, could use Nangarhar province as a staging ground for pushing deeper into Pakistan by eliminating the Durand Line and “annex” the ‘state of Hind’ (Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, and Myanmar). Further, Korybko also says that if more “Taliban fighters defect to the up-and-coming group” a scenario of a birth of a “transnational ‘mini-Caliphate’ between Nangarhar and parts of FATA would evoke the shades of ISIL’s prior successes along the Syrian-Iraqi border.” Not just that, the article vividly points to how ISIL is also moving in the northern direction, citing the defection in May of Colonel Gulmurod Khalimov, the head of Tajikistan’s Internal Special Forces, to ISIL. It hints at the possibility of ISIL gaining invaluable intelligence and employing Khalimov’s knowledge in infiltrating into the most ‘ideal’ location in Gorno-Badakhstan region. If this occurs concurrently, the article suggests, the “US then would be keen, among other things, to take revenge for Kyrgyzstan denouncing its cooperation agreement with the US.” Therefore, the article does not rule out the possibility of a quadrilateral South-Central Asian Caliphate emerging in “heavily fortified Pamir and Hindu Kush mountain ranges, with Pakistan being the southern peg of this vile construction.”

The article paints another disruptive scenario of how the US could derail Pakistan’s geo-economic destiny by engineering a possible “Colour Revolution against Prime Minister Sharif or any of his successors”, although it also says that the violent protests last year did not pan out as a doom and gloom scenario for Pakistan. Korybko does not foretell the exact contours of the follow-up disruptive attempt, but says that with the “improved political technology available” it might likely embrace “anti-corruption” slogans led by an amorphous and superficially apolitical “civil society” in Pakistan. Such a structural innovation, the article suggests, would “allow the coup’s leaders to readjust their social infrastructure (leadership, members, slogans, etc.) on the fly a lot more efficiently than if they followed the comparatively rigid practices of their predecessors in organizing the event around clearly defined political parties led by a few well-known (and easily compromised) individuals.”

This scenario to be deployed in Pakistan would be “Colour Revolution 1.5”. The article notes that this will be halfway between the comparatively ‘docile’ 2003 Colour Revolution 1.0 in Georgia and the “out-of-control Hybrid War mayhem of Colour Revolution 2.0 in EuroMaidan.” Colour Revolution 1.5 in Pakistan could go either way, “towards 1.0 if it sputters out like in Armenia or towards 2.0 if it dangerously intensifies like it did in Syria.” The article says that 1.5 could become a dangerous innovation to “regime change strategy” and that the US would be committed to apply it first with smaller targets before being “perfected and repackaged to Pakistan.”

The article argues that Moscow has rightly taken the “bold step in reaching out to Islamabad and soliciting a strategic partnership” and the quick pace of the partnership taking a revolutionary shape is a “natural fit for both partners.” But this trend, according to the article, has incited the US’ “geopolitical jealousy”, which is keen to call upon a “mixed bag of secessionist, terrorist, and Colour Revolution destabilizations to offset Pakistan’s catalytic role in bringing Eurasia together.” The author then calls upon Russia, China, and Iran to defeat the threat so that Pakistan can become Eurasia’s economic ‘zipper’ and linking these (and perhaps even SAARC’s) economies together in an emboldened multi-polar future.

The article concludes by saying that the EU is mistakenly staying out (due to US pressure) of this trans-Eurasian integration process, which is becoming the primary theme of the 21st century. But “the rest of the main continental economic powers – the Eurasian Union, Iran, SAARC, and China – stand poised for closer integration with one another owing to the infrastructural overlap that Pakistan’s geostrategic location provides.”

The central theme of Korbyko’s article is to highlight the pivotal importance of Pakistan and the Russian eagerness to build a foundation of political trust with the Pakistani leadership so as to better assist in the management of Pakistani-Indian tensions.

To be sure, Pakistan can certainly help Russia shift its focus away from its current difficulties but Moscow should be doubly careful whether Pakistan will not become a staging ground to break up Russia further. The Americans have already tested the Pakistani betrayal, and China too sooner or later will become another victim of Pakistani treachery.

Surely, the Russians have always displayed enthusiasm for mediation between India and Pakistan, but Moscow would do well to remind itself of its failure to achieve success in the mid-1960s. I will leave the interpretation and analysis of this important article to the readers.

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Re: India-Russia: News & Analysis

Postby Austin » 21 Sep 2015 15:03

Who so every writes such complicated article with so many nations and conspiracy theories deserve a noble price :lol:

Just keep this thread for India-Russia news else as hnair said people may get banned

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Re: India-Russia: News & Analysis

Postby Austin » 21 Sep 2015 15:09

Russia and India move towards common scientific research domain

Russian-Indian cooperation in the scientific field dates back over decades but particularly rapid development of relations in this sphere has happened over the last year. Important milestones were the signing of an agreement to establish the Russian-Indian Association of Universities, and an announcement by the Russian Science Foundation (RSF) and the Indian Ministry of Science and Technology to jointly sponsor an international team competition in the field of scientific research. During the eighth session of the Russian-Indian Working Group on Science and Technology, held on September 3 in Moscow, representatives from both countries examined ways to further develop their cooperation.
Early successes

Nikolay Toivonen, head of the Russian delegation and director of the International Department of the Ministry of Education and Science, emphasized the successes achieved in the development of intergovernmental cooperation. The Ministry of Education and Science has already implemented six joint projects with the Indian Department of Science and Technology (DST) and five with the Department of Biotechnology.

In addition, the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (RFBR) and the Indian DST have initiated a cooperation programme, which provides support to basic research projects. On September 21, the RSF and the Indian Ministry of Science and Technology plan to announce a jointly sponsored international team competition in the field of scientific research.

This competition will be co-financed by grants; 4.6 million rubles from the RSF and up to 6 million rupees by the DST, annually.

“I would also like to point out that next year we will be celebrating the tenth anniversary of our cooperation. Moreover, this year we have decided to expand our cooperation by increasing the number of supported projects – from 25 to 50,” said Toivonen.

Coordination of research programmes

Toivonen also noted the rapid development of various institutions providing funding for scientific research, stressing that today in Russia they are working on developing an infrastructure to ensure that this system continues.

“We are paying great attention to ensure that institutions wisely harmonize their activities, in order that work continues on projects that were already started and developed during previous stages,” he explained, adding that research and development projects should be supported up to the point of their final implementation by the industrial sector.

Arabinda Mitra, head of the Indian delegation and manager of the DST’s International Division, noted that in India also, work is on to integrate scientific research with industrial production.

Both sides agreed that in organizing bilateral cooperation in the scientific field, they should work to involve not only representatives of various interested government agencies, but also financing organizations.

It was acknowledged that some difficulties existed in the process of joint collaboration work, such as ensuring parity in financing of projects. In this regard, Dmitry Korotkov, representative of the Science and Technology Department of the Ministry of Education and Science, talked about the Russian-Indian Council of Scientific Funds, in which not only the leading funders who that finance scientific research in Russia and India will participate, but also interested private business enterprises. Indian colleagues supported this Russian initiative.

Similar projects have been developed within the framework of the BRICS. However, as Korotkov stressed, a bilateral organization will be easier to build, and it is very likely that a Russian-Indian council can implement work faster.

The first meeting of such funders could take place in early 2016.

Separately, representatives of both sides noted that India’s decision to join the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) would open up new possibilities in the field of scientific and technical cooperation. The decision on India becoming a full member of the SCO was made at the SCO summit in July 2015 in Ufa.

From person to person


In addition to financing, at the meeting they also discussed the organization of scientific work, for example, the allocation of priorities. Participants noted that in order to achieve better results, they should increase the number of contacts between representatives of both working groups, as well as between the research teams. Delegates agreed that various approaches should be used, from the organization of webinars on specific topics to motivational programmes for workers and educational trips for scientists and students.

These initiatives will be further developed within the framework of the Russian-Indian Association of Universities.

First published in Russian in S&T RF.

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Re: India-Russia: News & Analysis

Postby Viv S » 21 Sep 2015 16:12

Austin wrote:Who so every writes such complicated article with so many nations and conspiracy theories deserve a noble price :lol:

That would be Andrew Korybko of the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies which is "a major scientific-research and analytical centre established by the President of the Russian Federation".

Just keep this thread for India-Russia news else as hnair said people may get banned

The article is very much on topic - it directly relates Indo-Russian relations.

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Re: India-Russia: News & Analysis

Postby Viv S » 21 Sep 2015 16:13

Here's the original article that Amb. P. Stobdan wrote his critique on.



Pakistan Is The “Zipper” Of Pan-Eurasian Integration

The mainstream media myth about Pakistan carries little factual weight and purposely neglects the country’s rising geopolitical importance in Eurasia

Andrew Korybko


Perverted in the Western imagination as a backwards land of terrorism and poverty, the mainstream media myth about Pakistan carries little factual weight and purposely neglects the country’s rising geopolitical importance in Eurasia. Far from being a lost cause, the country is actually one of the supercontinent’s most important economic hopes, as it has the potential to connect the massive economies of the Eurasian Union, Iran, SAARC, and China, thereby inaugurating the closest thing to an integrated pan-Eurasian economic zone. Russia recognizes Pakistan’s prime geopolitical potential and has thus maneuvered to rapidly increase its full-spectrum relations with the South Asian gatekeeper. Russia’s overarching goal, as it is with all of its partners nowadays, is to provide a non-provocative balancing component to buffet Pakistan’s regional political position and assist with its peaceful integration into the multipolar Eurasian framework being constructed by the Russian-Chinese Strategic Partnership.

The first part of the article deals with the ‘zipper’ concept of how Pakistan can bring together four of Eurasia’s most prominent economic entities, and then it proceeds to an examination of the budding Russian-Pakistani Strategic Partnership. Part II looks at the topic from a completely different angle, and brainstorms the three most probable ways in which the US can attempt to offset everything that the multipolar is trying to build in Pakistan.


Zipping Together The Blocs

Pakistan is uniquely poised to zip together a variety of economic blocs, taking advantage of both its convenient geography and China’s grand investment vision to make it happen:

Eurasian Union:

The Russian-led trade organization also comprises Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. The latter two theoretically move its potential economic reach closer to South Asia, but the unincorporated nature of Uzbekistan (which is to join in the near future) and the security problems in Afghanistan pose a major impediment to direct trade with South Asia. Two alternatives have thus developed to deal with these geopolitical obstacles and reach that regional market, and they are the via the Caspian and Arabian Seas and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC, to be analyzed shortly). Additionally, by bringing the Eurasian Union into contact with SAARC-member Pakistan, a steadfast and growing economy, it can provide a direct trade opening with the rest of the South Asian bloc.

Iran:

The Islamic Republic is expected to experience phenomenal economic growth after the sanctions are lifted at the beginning of next year, and all sides are rushing to cash in on the bonanza (especially the West). The Europeans will probably bring their investments directly into the country through financial instruments, but as the Chinese and Indians deal more closely with the real-sector economy, their interests are such that certain physical connective infrastructure must be created to facilitate bilateral trade in the post-sanctions environment.

Concerning the Chinese, this is the far-reaching Iran-Pakistan-China pipeline (itself an extension of CPEC, and both of which will be described at the end of this section), while for the Indians, this takes the form of both the Chabahar port investment and the undersea Iran-India gas pipeline. In terms of economic efficiency, it would make the most sense for the real-sector and energy trade between Tehran and New Delhi to be conducted through overland routes transiting Pakistan, but for obvious political reasons, this regretfully hasn’t materialized, and thus, Iran and SAARC-leader India’s economic relations must be carried out through the maritime sphere.

SAARC:

The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) stretches from Pakistan to Bangladesh, with its largest economy obviously being India. This regional integrational platform has had considerable difficulty achieving its prime goal of closer economic relations among its members, but that doesn’t mean that the potential isn’t there. If the political differences between rivals Pakistan and India could be relaxed (perhaps within the SCO framework), then the organization would finally be able to cash in on its economic capability and fully integrate with itself and the rest of Eurasia.

SAARC, through its Indian and Bangladeshi members, could possibly increase trade with China through the BCIM corridor between the three and Myanmar, but the scope is limited to India’s Northeast and China’s Yunnan Province (although it of course provides a strong basis for future expansion). The project itself was intended to help grow India and China’s least developed but most promising regions, as well as tighten the economic interrelations between these Eurasian giants. Complementary to these objectives, the need for another corridor is thus apparent, which in this case would be satisfied through CPEC. The purpose behind India’s utilization of this secondary trade route to China would be to connect its most economically productive regions (the parts of the country west of the BCIM’s northeast regional scope) to two of China’s least advanced but most in need of development, Tibet and Xinjiang. While there is certainly the touchy issue of India’s de-facto recognition of Pakistani-administered Kashmir if its companies employ this route, the economic allure might be too tempting to resist.

The Indian-Iranian integration strategy via Pakistan was already discussed, so rounding out the last vector of how the country could help SAARC expand its external trade ties, one must look towards the Eurasian Union. As earlier spoken about, the North-South Corridor is a logistics network envisioned to eventually connect India and Russia, but as with Indian-Iranian trade, it would be much more efficient to cut out the bimodal form of transportation (sea to land) and deal exclusively with ground-based infrastructure. Thus, the possibility arises whereby Pakistan could find a place along an Indian railroad to Russia that also traverses through Iran and Central Asia. The latter part of the infrastructure network is already in place, since the Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran section has recently been up and running. If connective lines can be built from India to Iran via Pakistan, then it’s entirely feasible that India could one day send export its products directly to Russia using this route, without having to go about the circuitous detour of sea-land-sea-land (Arabian Sea-Iran-Caspian Sea-Russia).

The Vision:

The catalyst for connecting the four blocs together via Pakistan’s geostrategic location is CPEC, China’s grand vision of establishing a trans-Pakistani trade corridor to cultivate a center of economic gravity that seals everything together. The core of this strategy rests in expanding the Karakoram Highway between both countries and constructing parallel rail, industrial, and pipeline networks from the southern port of Gwadar all the way up to the Chinese border. As Pepe Escobar writes, the energy requirements of this grandiose project are expected to be filled by Iran via the larger Iran-Pakistan-China pipeline project, but a supportive component will also be the world’s largest solar farm that Beijing and Islamabad are also building as part of CPEC.

This vast multimodal integrational platform will de-facto extend China’s direct economic reach all the way to the Arabian Sea, thus circumventing the Strait of Malacca chokehold and more than compensating for the relative strategic losses that it’s suffered in Myanmar as of late. In a major sense, CPEC represents not only a geopolitical pivot for China, but also a geo-economic one as well, since it’ll position the country within easy access to the Mideast oil fields on which so much of its economy depends (despite Russia’s increasingly important role as the Middle Kingdom’s strategic supplier).

Additionally, creating a system of real-sector trade infrastructure such as roads and rails between Central Asia (Eurasian Union) and Pakistan (SAARC) intersecting in Xinjiang would lead to enormous economic development in China’s most far-flung and vulnerable province that could also help soothe over the externally orchestrated destabilization that it’s lately found itself experiencing. Should Xinjiang succeed in becoming a significant Eurasian trading hub in connecting China, the Eurasian Union, SAARC, and Iran, then it would catapult in geo-economic significance and become an extension of the supercontinental and ultra-strategic Heartland region.


The Russian-Pakistani Strategic Partnership

South Asian geopolitics have traditionally been marked by the fraternal relations between Russia and India, ties which previously would have made any Russian-Pakistani strategic partnership unthinkable, but the evolving multipolar world has reworked the region’s political models and is making for some very exciting future possibilities. To introduce the dynamics taking place before the world’s eyes, Russia and Pakistan are clearly moving closer to one another, and this is occurring despite Russia being “India’s closest friend”. This trend might appear somewhat perplexing to one unaccustomed to the region’s happenings, so it’s worthwhile to succinctly describe the current state of play in South Asia so that one can better grasp why this development actually isn’t all that unexpected, and how it’s not motivated by any negative intentions towards India.

The State Of Play:

South Asia’s geopolitics were transformed by the end of the Cold War and the subsequent nuclear bipolarity that arose between India and Pakistan. The conclusion of the global ideological stand-off lessened the intensity of the Russian-Indian Strategic Partnership and the US’ dealings with Pakistan, as South Asia was no longer seen as a priority area of foreign policy focus by either superpower after that time. As a result, India began to drift westward at the same time that Pakistan was moving eastward, with New Delhi looking towards Washington while Islamabad embraced Beijing. This doesn’t mean that either of them completely turned their backs on their historical partners (Russia and the US, respectively), but that the changing global context forced them to adapt to a new reality of relations that continued the furtherance of their national self-interests.

By 2015, this process had progressed to the point that Pakistan is a stalwart Chinese ally and India is a civilizational pole balancing between the US and Russia. Prime Minister Modi has been practicing multipolarity to its theoretical fullest, strengthening his country’s military—technical partnership with Russia at the same time as it economically and strategically pivots towards supporting American objectives vis-à-vis the containment of China. From India’s perspective, Pakistan is a proxy of China and undermines its western border security, while China and Pakistan see India as an American partner managing both of them on Washington’s Lead From Behind behalf. The antagonism between both South Asian states hasn’t subsided, but they seem to be willing to give multilateral Eurasian institutionalism a chance as evidenced by their joint admission to the SCO.

The Kremlin’s Calculations:

In terms of how this all relates to Russia, Moscow has strong ties with Beijing and New Delhi, thus bestowing it with the potential to intermediate between the two and ensure that bilateral tension doesn’t spill over into something worse. What Russia doesn’t have is the ability to do the same between India and Pakistan, thus inviting a non-Eurasian super polity (the US) into the mix and giving it plenty of opportunity to divide and conquer according to the present geopolitical circumstances. The thinking goes that if Russia were to compensate for its diplomatic ‘blind spot’ with Pakistan and reinvigorate the bilateral relationship with Islamabad, then it could mirror the role that it plays between India and China in also helping to balance the tension between India and Pakistan.

If successful, then this strategy would progressively press the US out of the playing field, as although India will still retain its current level of ties with the US (or something similar to it), it would have less of a need for it in the sense of counterbalancing Pakistan, since both itself and Islamabad would have the same trusted partner, Russia, which would work to keep tensions between the two as low as possible (like how it does with India and China). The lack of trust between India and Pakistan is the weakest link in the ‘zipper’ vision, since even though it could still survive without the SAARC component and profit greatly, all of its parts (and especially the Eurasian Union) would be stronger with India’s physical incorporation into this unified infrastructural framework. With this future awareness in mind, and combined with its multipolar ideology and Great Power revival, Russia has a clear impetus to diplomatically and strategically intercede to the best of its capacity in keeping Indian-Pakistan tensions at a minimum in order to maximize the economic benefit of their peaceful collaboration.

Russian Moves:

The above paragraphs explain the reasoning behind Russia’s decision to initiate a strategic partnership with Pakistan, so it’s now time to look at exactly what sorts of moves Moscow has made in this direction. The first step that really got observers talking was Russia’s decision in June 2014 to begin discussions with Pakistan about the sale of attack helicopters to assist with drug-combating efforts. Being described as a “paradigm shift”, some thought that it was motivated by Russia’s concerns that Afghanistan’s destabilization will rapidly move cross-border after the NATO drawdown at the end of that year, but as was described previously, it can also be strongly inferred that another strategic motivation was to eventually balance India and Pakistan and make the multipolar world even more cohesive as a result.

It’s not just military relations that are deepening between the two, as Russia plans to put its technical expertise to work in building a portion of the Iran-Pakistan-China gas pipeline in the near future.

Sensing enormous economic opportunities and seeing the writing on the wall for what will transpire after CPEC is completed, Pakistan expressed its eagerness to seal a free trade agreement with the Eurasian Union, signifying how serious it takes the evolving partnership between the two. Rounding out the new relationship and adding a soft power touch, both sides are preparing for their first-ever cultural exchange year, and in a symbolic sign of what’s likely to come, Pakistan’s national military band performed at the Moscow International Music Festival. There should thus be no doubt at this point about the commitment of both sides to deepening relations with the other, and their mutual interactions are far from a passing trend or temporary convergence of business interests. Like the article argues, both sides understand the larger significance of what they’re doing, which in the overall sense of things is to facilitate their shared vision of an integrated and multipolar Eurasia.


Closing The Corridor

As ambitious as CPEC and the ‘zipper’ plan are, there remain three primary categories of complications that could get in the way and ruin the entire Eurasian enterprise, or at the very least, deal a heavy integrational blow to it either through Pakistan’s domestic destabilization and/or India’s refusal to participate:

Diplomatic Clumsiness:

One of the major strategic risks to pan-Eurasian integration inherent to Russia and Pakistan’s budding relationship is that Moscow risks pushing New Delhi closer into the hands of Washington. This could realistically occur through the unintentional creation of a security dilemma (provoked by the US and its information proxies) and an exaggerated Indian threat assessment of Russia’s activities. If the Indian political establishment feels that Russia is ‘sliding away’ towards the China-Pakistan ‘axis’ (as it views it), then it’ll conversely speed up its strategic dealings with the US. This would consequently negate one of the main reasons behind the Russian-Pakistan strategic partnership, which as stated, is to place Moscow in a position to intermediate between New Delhi and Islamabad and keep regional relations stable enough so as to jump start the envisioned multilateral economic partnership.

If Russia somehow bungles the entire thing (or what would be more likely, the US sabotages it through the mechanisms that will be described soon), then it would be worse off than if it hadn’t even begun what in hindsight would then look like its failed Pakistani gambit. This is because it would have lost a major strategic partner in India while only gaining a lesser one through Pakistan, which it must be said will never see its relations with Russia as being on an equal level as those that it has with China. Therefore, the most important thing that Russia must do throughout this entire process is take heed in proceeding delicately and with consideration to how influential decision makers in the Indian establishment are viewing its evolving partnership with Pakistan. Additionally, since it’s expected that the US will try to split Russia and India through Pakistan in a similar way as it did with Russia and the EU through Ukraine (although for different reasons and through incomparable contexts), Moscow must be aware of Washington’s information warfare against it on this front and needs to remain in steady contact with its closest counterparts in New Delhi so as to dispel any false inferences when they arise and reassure its partners of the lasting integrity of the fraternal Russian-Indian relationship.

American Influence:

Following off of the inferences hinted at above, it’s absolutely expected that the US will continue to insert itself between Russia and India with the intent of dividing the two once and for all. There are two specific ways in which it can do this other than the generalized information war that should be taken as a given. The first thing that most readers may not be aware of is just how significant of an inroad the US has made in supplying the Indian defense industry, having now become its largest arms supplier since 2014 and supplying 12% of the country’s total stock. This is still a far throw away from Russia’s whopping 70% of market dominance, but as India’s aging Soviet-era weaponry is replaced with newer American and Israeli munitions (Tel Aviv’s largest arms customer is India), the emerging trend is obviously not to Russia’s favor, and could have potentially played a part in influencing its decision to resume arms exports to Pakistan (which initiated the growing strategic partnership in the first place). The saliency in this underreported military development is that the US is making itself more integral to India’s national security, and this coincides with New Delhi’s strategic overlap with the US in containing China. The longer this progresses, the further the US will embed itself into India’s deep state apparatus, with all of the misfortunate foreign policy consequences for the multipolar world.

The second and potentially most direct means by which the US can influence India away from Russia is through the personal rapport shared between Modi and Obama. The two leaders have publicly expressed their mutual chemistry for one another, with Obama even writing a short fluff piece about Modi for Time Magazine last spring. Their close interpersonal relations first made public headlines after Modi’s visit to Washington last fall, where the two strolled along the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial and appeared quite chummy with one another. When Obama visited India to attend its Republic Day parade in January, the media was in such a state of ecstasy that they even termed the political couple “Mobama”. Although the entire friendship could be an exaggerated charade for political purposes, there’s nothing tangible to indicate that this is the case, since by all measures, the two leaders really do appear to be honest friends and get along quite well with one another. By itself, this doesn’t pose any worries for Russia, but the problem predictably arises when Obama leverages his friendship with Modi in order to enact certain policy shifts from India, such as his encouragement of the Prime Minister’s Act East policy solely because of the unstated reason that can aggravate relations with China. When Obama finally attempts to resort to personal diplomacy with Modi in order to encourage him to ‘adjust’ India’s relations with Russia in a comparable manner, that’s precisely the moment when Russian interests are most endangered by the US ‘winning over’ India into viewing the Russian-Pakistan strategic partnership as a threat. The only suitable deterrent to this scenario is for Putin to continually reinforce his relationship with Modi so that the latter is insusceptible to being tricked by Obama into doubting the Russian President’s intentions.


Playing Dirty

Being the divide-and-conquer master that it is, the US undoubtedly has a few dirty tricks up its sleeve for preventing Pakistan from fulfilling its geo-economic destiny:

Seccessionism:

The Baluchistan separatist issue is an ever-present thorn in Pakistan’s side. The country’s largest province, it’s scarcely populated but is important for its geostrategic location (it abuts Iran and is home to Gwadar port) and mineral reserves. It’s also been the scene of an off-and-on secessionist war that’s at times employed terrorist tactics, such as last month when an armed group attacked an airport. Pakistan insists that India is behind the latest spate of terrorism there, but whether or not that’s the case, the likelihood of American involvement in strategically guiding the events must also be considered.

This isn’t just because of the competitive advantages that the US would procure vis-à-vis destabilizing Gwadar and the source of CPEC, nor solely due to the political benefits of a fragmented and domestically distracted Pakistan. What really drives American interest in fostering a full-scale Baluch separatist war against Pakistan is the transnational nature that such a campaign would inevitably have, as the region of Baluchistan technically transcends the Iranian-Pakistani border and is present in both states.

Therefore, the US could draw the Iranian province of Sistan and Baluchestan into the fray, which would have the combined effect of also endangering India’s Chabahar port and upsetting plans to link it to the regional capital and rail hub of Zahedan (and by extension, onwards to the Turkmenistan-Kazakhstan-Russia line). By keeping India’s Iranian- and Russian-directed infrastructure investments under America’s thumb via Baluch proxy, the US can also exert a sharper degree of influence over New Delhi (as well as Tehran). Tellingly, it should also be mentioned that Ralph Peters’ infamous “Blood Borders” map detailing “How A Better Middle East Would Look” specifically earmarks a “Free Baluchistan” carved out of Iranian and Pakistani territory as one of its key components.

Terrorism:

While the Baluch separatist scenario has certainly proved itself capable of resorting to terrorist tactics, what will be described in this section is the more ‘traditional’ terrorist threat that Pakistan has been defending against, which is militant Islamic radicalism. Its existence in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and the hideouts that it has across the border in Afghanistan have proved to be an impactful factor of destabilization in Pakistan over the past decade, and it’s also the reason why the military can’t fully concentrate on the Baluch separatists and quickly snuff them out.

As dangerous as this threat already is, it can actually get much worse, and that’s because of the presence of ISIL in Afghanistan and its expansive neo-Caliphate ideology. The group is already present in the three provinces of Farah (west), Helmand (south), and Nangarhar (east), with the last one being the most important in terms of how it relates to Pakistan. ISIL has proclaimed its intention to eliminate the Durand Line and “annex” the ‘state of Hind’ (Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, and Myanmar), so it’s likely to use Nangarhar province as a staging ground for pushing deeper into Pakistan as it attempts to further this (unrealistic) goal. If more Taliban fighters defect to the up-and-coming group and this eventually comes to affect Pakistani-based militants as well, then it’s possible that a rear fifth column of fighters could suddenly ‘pop up’ in the country at a moment’s notice, creating a transnational ‘mini-Caliphate’ between Nangarhar and parts of FATA and evoking strong shades of ISIL’s prior successes along the Syrian-Iraqi border.

The southern-eastern vector isn’t the only direction that ISIL can go in expanding past Afghanistan, however, as the defection of Colonel Gulmurod Khalimov, the head of Tajikistan’s internal special forces, to the terrorists back in May indicates that they might have gained invaluable intelligence about that country that could be exploited in the near future. For example, if anti-government terrorists such as the followers of the late former Deputy Defense Minister Abduhalim Nazarzoda succeed in destabilizing the state even more than they already have, then an opening might develop for ISIL to apply Khalimov’s knowledge in infiltrating the country from Afghanistan and entrenching itself in the most ‘ideal’ location (likely the barely populated Gorno-Badakhstan autonomous region). If this occurs concurrently with unrest in Southern Kyrgyzstan potentially stemming from a Color Revolution attempt during the upcoming general elections (which the US might provoke as revenge for Kyrgyzstan denouncing its cooperation agreement with the US, among other reasons), then it’s possible that a quadrilateral South-Central Asian Caliphate could emerge along the largely inaccessible and heavily fortified Pamir and Hindu Kush mountain ranges, with Pakistan being the southern peg of this vile construction.

Color Revolution 1.5:

The last disruptive scenario that could derail Pakistan’s geo-economic destiny is a Color Revolution against Prime Minister Sharif or any of his successors. The violent protests against him right around this time last year prompted the BBC to jump the gun by prematurely declaring that he’s “cornered”, with the Washington Post echoing the apparently imminent overthrow of his administration by describing him as “cling[ing] to power”. The doom and gloom scenario didn’t pan out, however, and the protests eventually dissipated into nothing, but the lesson learnt was that a Color Revolution scenario is disturbingly real in one of the world’s most populous and geostrategic countries.

At this stage, it’s not yet possible to foretell the exact contours of how the follow-up attack will look, but if the newest wave of Color Revolution attempts is any indication (some of which may potentially be test runs to refine the political technology prior to a more serious implementation), then it might likely embrace “anti-corruption” slogans and be led by an amorphous and superficially apolitical “civil society”. This structural innovation allows the coup’s leaders to readjust their social infrastructure (leadership, members, slogans, etc.) on the fly a lot more efficiently than if they followed the comparatively rigid practices of their predecessors in organizing the event around clearly defined political parties led by a few well-known (and easily compromised) individuals.

Color Revolution 1.5 (epitomized by “Electric Yerevan”, and which is what would likely be deployed in Pakistan if the US places the order) is thus halfway between the comparatively ‘docile’ Color Revolution 1.0 of 2003 Georgia and the out-of-control Hybrid War mayhem of Color Revolution 2.0 in EuroMaidan. Being positioned right between these two extremes, it can proceed either way, for example, towards 1.0 if it sputters out like in Armenia (or wants to misleadingly give that impression), or towards 2.0 if it dangerously intensifies like it did in Syria. Therefore, Color Revolution 1.5 could become a dangerous innovation to regime change strategy if its chaotic dynamics of alternation can be mastered, and the US commits to fully supporting one of its iterations after the necessary field data from Macedonia, Armenia, Lebanon, Malaysia, and Moldova has been processed and applied (perhaps to one of these relatively smaller targets before being perfected and repackaged to Pakistan).


Concluding Thoughts

One of the primary themes of the 21st century is shaping up to be Eurasian integration, in the sense of establishing a supercontinental-wide economic space. The EU is presently being kept out of this exciting process out of its own prerogative, having succumbed to American pressure to mistakenly believe that its economic future resides in the trans-Atlantic direction instead of the trans-Eurasian one. Nonetheless, the rest of the main continental economic powers – the Eurasian Union, Iran, SAARC, and China – stand poised for closer integration with one another owing to the infrastructural overlap that Pakistan’s geostrategic location provides.

Understanding the pivotal importance of Pakistan and also eager to build a foundation of political trust with its leadership so as to better assist in managing Pakistani-Indian tensions, Moscow took the bold step in reaching to Islamabad and soliciting a strategic partnership. The quick pace that it’s developed over the past year suggests that this revolutionary relationship is a natural fit for both partners, but their solidifying partnership has incited the US’ geopolitical jealousy, which is keen to call upon a mixed bag of secessionist, terrorist, and Color Revolution destabilizations to offset Pakistan’s catalytic role in bringing Eurasia together. If these threats can properly be defended against, perhaps with unified trilateral assistance from Russia, China, and Iran, then Pakistan can prevail in becoming Eurasia’s economic ‘zipper’ and linking these (and perhaps even SAARC’s) economies together in an emboldened multipolar future.

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Re: India-Russia: News & Analysis

Postby Austin » 21 Sep 2015 17:06

You can just link the article since its already posted above

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Re: India-Russia: News & Analysis

Postby Austin » 21 Sep 2015 17:21

Russia, India JWG to cooperate on railways

At the end of the working visit to India, Alexander Misharin, first Vice-President of JSC 'Russian Railways' told RIR that the two countries had agreed to establish a joint working group to explore prospects and projects for further cooperation between the two countries to develop the railways.

With whom did you meet in India, and what agreements have been achieved?


We met with several companies, including the Indian Railways and the division which is engaged in the creation of new freight corridors and the organization of high-speed traffic.

We agreed on the resumption of cooperation and the participation of Russian companies here in three areas: the creation of freight corridors, the modernization of infrastructure and increasing traffic capacity, including speed and security.

What will be the mechanism of interaction?

We have agreed to establish a working group on the formation of these projects. I think that this proposal will be formalized in the near future.

Did you discuss the participation of Russian Railways in the tenders?

We want to participate in tenders for railways electrification and asked the Indian side for the conditions.

What kind of joint projects are being discussed? Direct contracts between companies, or your participation in tenders?

For now we are talking only about our participation in tenders.

Did you discuss the acquisition of Russian rolling stock by India?


Yes we did. We demonstrated the technology and the type of rolling stock, which is produced at Russian enterprises, including «Transmashholding», «Transport Machines» and others.

There is interest, but we have not discussed the actual terms of delivery yet.

Will this issue also be discussed by the working group?


Absolutely. The supply and manufacture of rolling stock will definitely be on the agenda.

When is the working group expected to identify the first projects to develop cooperation?

I believe, before the end of the year.

How do you see India's railway budget for the next fiscal year?

Indian railways is comparable with the Russian railways, both in terms of traffic volume and length of lines.

As for the budget, considering the condition of Indian railways, it is not enough, but it is important that the government is taking steps to increase it.

We were told that in the next two to three years, investments would be increased by 40 percent. The program which has been adopted for the next five years is complicated. We hope it is implemented.

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Re: India-Russia: News & Analysis

Postby Viv S » 21 Sep 2015 17:25

Austin wrote:You can just link the article since its already posted above


If you're referring to the Sridharji's post, that's a different article - its a commentary by Phunchok Stobdan of IDSA on this RISS report on the Russia strategic thinking vis a vis Pakistan.


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Re: India-Russia: News & Analysis

Postby Austin » 24 Sep 2015 09:28

Russia, three Indian states to strengthen tourism ties
23 September 2015 Boris Egorov, RIR

A marketing campaign to be launched to increase the arrival of Russian tourists to India through various cultural and tourism promotional programmes.


Tourism departments of three states - Kerala, Goa and Uttarakhand - have decided to jointly set up a formal association with Russia's tourism and culture ministry to promote tourist arrivals and cultural exchanges, daijiworld.com reports on Tuesday.

A marketing campaign to be launched to increase the arrival of Russian tourists to India through various cultural and tourism promotional programmes.

Kerala Tourism director P.I. Sheikh Pareeth said he had held talks in the regard with Russian tourism and culture ministry's tourism and regional policy department head Olga Yarilova, while he was in Moscow last week to take part in the OTDYKH Leisure, a leading international trade fair for travel and tourism.

A team of key Russian tour operators and state tourism representatives from Goa and Uttarkhand, India Tourism and Indian embassy officials too were present at the meeting.

The Russian delegation raised the issues on reducing the visa fees and the airport fee incurred on chartered flights from Russia to India and also expressed concern about the lack of Russian-speaking guides in Kerala.

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Re: India-Russia: News & Analysis

Postby shaun » 24 Sep 2015 10:15

what i understand from that "zipper " thing is ,
1. Russians want money and it doesn't matter what they sell to which nations , you have money you will get it .
2. Eurasian bla bla logic have been written with broader sense as if economy alone will eliminate all the tensions in the region .
3. Baluch other rebel groups in porkistan , according to the author is a ploy of Americans.
4. Localizing, the terrorism emanating from pakistan as because of Indo-Paki tensions.
5. Assumption of Porki with a growing economy ignoring the hard fact , how the porki economy is surviving on baksis and life support of IMF and WB.

Now you will hear ruskis ranting out terms like allay , friend , partner for porkistan ,just for selling their military hardwares.


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Re: India-Russia: News & Analysis

Postby Mukesh.Kumar » 27 Sep 2015 11:27

Vodkawala update:

Recently been talking to one of my contacts from Vodkaland on the Su-35 issue. Seems that there is a plan to sell Su-35. In chronological order the reasons put forward were:
1) Russia considers Pakistan a key and possibly dangerous country. Therefore it needs to be engaged. Analogy were Turkey and keeping your enemies closer.
2) Pressed further our vodkawala said that even though Su-35's maybe supplied, no one knows what conditions maybe there for usage. And aircraft can be configured so as not to attack Indian planes during war. Moreover, Russia will not be supplying weapons packages.
3) Pressed further, he did mention maybe it was to 'increase competition.'

Did not speak on who is going to pay or anything.

So, there seems to be a distinct possibility of a Russian pivot to Pakistan to offset Indian influence.

Disclaimer: This contact is not officially linked to any Russian security agency but over years, I have seen him to be in places and knowledgeable about stuff you don't expect ordinary Lev's to be aware of. He has a remarkable tendency to be somehow in the periphery of the seats of power and important Russian events. Just no official or clinching evidence, but enough to set you wondering.

Edited Later: IMVHO, we need to look at the positive signal that this deal is sending out. It's a bit far fetched but along with the UN vote, I believe that the time is coming that India is emerging as a big enough player, that has potential to be disruptive in the sense that an independent India would be a pain for the biggies. We are not there yet by a far shot, but at least we seem to be looking in the right direction. We cannot expect support from the big guys anymore. We cannot depend on what AmirKhan or Lev or Chan said. We have to fight it out ourselves. That means Make In India, Research in India, grow strong on inherent capabilities and economic potential. This is the critical juncture where the whole world will try to bottle us into medium economy or force us into a power bloc. Just my 2 cents.

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Re: India-Russia: News & Analysis

Postby Philip » 27 Sep 2015 20:05

I don't discount the poss. of the PLAAF getting the SU-35 first before the Pakis.The rumour may be a none-too-subtle way for Russia to tell us that if we don't want a deal on the FGFA,a decision on the table when Mr.Modi meets Pres.Putin in Nov,then all bets are off.Russia will feel free to sell to whom,whatever it wants,just as the US sells F-16s, TOW missiles,Harpoon anti-ship missiles,etc. to Pak. If we can live with the US's massive mil/civil aid to Pak and engage with it like its latest bum-chum,then so will Russia loosen its exclusive mil-ties with India by selling its milware to anyone,even our mortal enemies.

However,the GOI should carefully get its diplomacy and relationship with Russia sorted out.Approx. 70% of our milware comes from Russia esp. our cutting edge tech,like Akulas,BMos missiles,MKIs,etc. A frank discussion on weapons sales to Pak and China must be on the agenda and Russian concerns about our bonhomie with the US ,which might impact upon Russia negatively and internationally sorted out. There is an old saying which our MEA /PMO should remember,"not spreading one's legs too far out.." It is for the GOI and MEA to decide upon its course and face the consequences.

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Re: India-Russia: News & Analysis

Postby Mukesh.Kumar » 27 Sep 2015 20:26

Phillip, you have a point there. But this is looking at it very short-term and re-actively. The only way this pans out is us developing indigenous capability. Then, and, only then will we be able to pursue our interests exclusively.

In the meantime, I would still hedge my bets, and play. You lose some, you win some. No special friends. Nada

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Re: India-Russia: News & Analysis

Postby Karan M » 27 Sep 2015 20:44

Mort Walker wrote:
Karan M wrote:Austin,

Good find. The the non sentimental kind need to look at this.

Military Aid of USD $ 31 Billion from 2002-2016

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/row/pakaid.pdf

Something Amreeka rakshaks on bharat rakshak try to downplay.


Actually, I provided that link to Austin in another thread. No one is trying to downplay the duplicity of unkil here. At the same time you can not sugar coat that Russia is a corrupt kleptocracy (Putin's inner circle has a net worth of $200 billion) that is a white Christian country where its people desire to integrate with the rest of Europe. India is far from their minds.


Actually by posting what you did you are downplaying onlee. Standard to form. Quite interesting that you had to bring in "you can not sugar coat Russia is bla bla " when I didn't even refer to Russia. Very revealing onlee about your proclivities.

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Re: India-Russia: News & Analysis

Postby Karan M » 27 Sep 2015 20:46

Vipul wrote:Multatuliji my post is not without reason. My post are in context of a series of Russian perfidies which ofcourse the Natasha loving Russian fan-boys will try to ignore or gloss over. Why they even want India not to pursue its interests and try to be a pacifist power following Russian diktats (NAM argument above was such a lame and comic one :D )

i) Signing the TOT for T-90 Tanks with India and then refusing to transfer the technology to make barrels.
ii) The wanton blackmailing and extortion of triple the amount committed by India for buying the Gorshkov
iii) Trying to sell sub optimally performing KLUB missiles to India and rectifying issues only after Indian Navy refused to take delivery.
iv) Upset at loosing the kilo class refit business to Indian ship yard how Russians intentionally mismanaged the INS Sindhukirti upgrade in India and over 9 years made the Indian shipyard do several multiples of the work then normally would have been done at a Russian shipyard. This while they were supposed to "supervise the work" for the upgrade.
iv) The PAK FA/FGFA saga where Russians agreed to do a 50-50 development role for India and then after taking the Indian Money for design phase unilaterally reducing India share from 50% to 26% and now 13% which will further go down by the time India takes delivery (if it happens and i hope it does not).

I am sure there are other instances which i am not recollecting now while i am writing this post. If admins find my my post offensive then my apologies.


They have done all that and more. But we face the same issues with ALL our vendors. Frank fact of life is dependence overseas is weakness and it will be exploited. On the other hand, we have got SSBN tech from Russia, strat programs have benefited in some ways - so its not all black and white either.

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Re: India-Russia: News & Analysis

Postby Karan M » 27 Sep 2015 20:50

Here's the [url=http://en.riss.ru/analysis/18882/]original article


[b]Pakistan Is The “Zipper” Of Pan-Eurasian Integration


The mainstream media myth about Pakistan carries little factual weight and purposely neglects the country’s rising geopolitical importance in Eurasia

Andrew Korybko.


I hope he realizes in mens garments what usually lies behind the zipper or is it that he is just being a d!ck himself and ignoring the obvious?
If Russia truly were to follow the brain dead advise of gents like him, it would be in deep trouble.

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Re: India-Russia: News & Analysis

Postby eklavya » 27 Sep 2015 22:47

Philip wrote:The rumour may be a none-too-subtle way for Russia to tell us that if we don't want a deal on the FGFA, a decision on the table when Mr.Modi meets Pres.Putin in Nov, then all bets are off. Russia will feel free to sell to whom, whatever it wants, just as the US sells F-16s, TOW missiles, Harpoon anti-ship missiles, etc. to Pak. If we can live with the US's massive mil/civil aid to Pak and engage with it like its latest bum-chum, then so will Russia loosen its exclusive mil-ties with India by selling its milware to anyone, even our mortal enemies.


Putin has a tendency to overplay a weak hand, so he may indeed do something stupid like alienating India by selling the Su-35 to the Pakistanis. For every dollar he gets from Pakistan, India will ensure that we don't spend at least three dollars on systems from his country. Someone in his MIC will do the maths.

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Re: India-Russia: News & Analysis

Postby kit » 28 Sep 2015 00:10

Dont think Russia will risk its biggest paying customer for a well whatever you can call pakistan . Even china doesnt come near the amount of moolah india gives them , admittedly the trade aspect in other sectors are different . India must call this bluff and move straight to a more practical approach not emotional. For starters let the IAF pilots evaluate the FGFA

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Re: India-Russia: News & Analysis

Postby kit » 28 Sep 2015 00:11

One should leave out Pakistan for a clear headed discussion between Russia and India . Sense would prevail over emotions !

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Re: India-Russia: News & Analysis

Postby Surya » 28 Sep 2015 01:17

duplicate
Last edited by Surya on 28 Sep 2015 01:26, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: India-Russia: News & Analysis

Postby Surya » 28 Sep 2015 01:17

It always tells you the character of a country which would even think of selling arms to a country which prides itself as having bled them and destroyed their former super power avatar.

there is realpolitik and then is crass, callous sellout

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Re: India-Russia: News & Analysis

Postby Cosmo_R » 28 Sep 2015 01:41

@KaranM ^^:" ..On the other hand, we have got SSBN tech from Russia, strat programs have benefited in some ways - so its not all black and white either."

It can be pretty black and white if we want. We pay Russia directly for the SSBN tech, strat programs etc. What we don't have to do is save their shipyards, MiG, Sukhoi, MiL etc on a hidden open ended basis through science projects.

The mere fact they would not even let the IAF see the PAK/FA after the engine incident or reveal any details, smells.

The best thing that can happen to us is that Pakistan has to pay for its weaponry. The Russians are not going to supply stuff on a coalition support funds basis. They want hard dollars. And extra for such things as spare parts like tires on the SU-35.

Who are the Russians going to sell SSBN tech to? PRC? Pakistan? Iran?

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Re: India-Russia: News & Analysis

Postby Mort Walker » 28 Sep 2015 08:50

^^^I don't think the Su-35 sale to TSP is going to happen. The Russians are using a potential sale as leverage against India. Should this sale actually happen in any form, India will not be receptive to helping bail out Russia during times of sanctions.

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Re: India-Russia: News & Analysis

Postby Viv S » 28 Sep 2015 09:21

Philip wrote:I don't discount the poss. of the PLAAF getting the SU-35 first before the Pakis.The rumour may be a none-too-subtle way for Russia to tell us that if we don't want a deal on the FGFA,a decision on the table when Mr.Modi meets Pres.Putin in Nov,then all bets are off.


You mean like the way they sold Mi-35s, Mi-17s & RD-93s to Pakistan? If they want to sell Su-35s to them as well, so be it.

If the Pakistanis, in turn, would like to invest in an entirely new aircraft requiring an entirely new support system (incl. munitions) instead of opting for the J-11D which offers similar capability at a far lower cost, in addition to logistical commonality with the PAF's JF-17s (CM-400AKG, PL-9, PL-12), then one can only hope that India doesn't stand in the way.

"Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake." - Napoleon Bonaparte

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Re: India-Russia: News & Analysis

Postby Austin » 28 Sep 2015 17:03

Trialling the TEM19, "the world's first LNG locomotive"

Found it interesting world first LNG locomotive, LNG based Engine offers 24 % better energy reduction cost compared to diesel engine , Good write up on Technology involved in LNG based engine.

I am wondering why they need cryostorage tanks for LNG , As LNG is stored in Room Temperature if I am not wrong ?

Another interesting aspect is India has similar interest for LNG based Engine and has floated Global Tender for the same , US is doing its own test for LNG based engine

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Re: India-Russia: News & Analysis

Postby Philip » 28 Sep 2015 17:23

The MI-17s and MI-35s are small in qty which will make no serous addition to the Paki war machine.Pak has already got Cobra gunships,TOW missiles,etc. from the US.They are taking a risk with the RD engines though.But in time the PRC will reverse engineer the same or find a substitute.What they lack is a true frontline fighter,their F-16s long in the tooth,useful though they are,but inadequate to face our MKIs and in the future Rafales.Even the upgraded M2Ks and MIG-29UGs will have them on the run.The Sino-Pak JV is desperately trying to obtain the SU-35,for both forces ,the PRC to meet the US challenge and the Pakis to score over/match India's capabilities. The cost of SU-35s is yet another attraction.Half the price of a contemporary Western bird and they now can't depend upon Saudi munificience and blank checques any longer,after they in true Paki style ran away from Yemen! That may have been a brilliant tactical stroke of genius,a la Mush-a-rat,at Kargil,but strategically catastrophic.The Egyptians are now the Saudis latest favourites,ready to go to battle for a lot of $$$.

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Re: India-Russia: News & Analysis

Postby Austin » 28 Sep 2015 18:57

Philip take the military discussion to appropriate thread

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Re: India-Russia: News & Analysis

Postby Prem » 28 Sep 2015 23:48

Ties with Pakistan not against India
http://in.rbth.com/economics/cooperatio ... dia_443441


The general sentiment, in India and more in Russia, is that the relations between the two countries have lost their earlier warmth. Do you agree with this, and if yes, why do you think this has happened?
The Russian-Indian relations during the days of the Soviet Union were omnipresent indeed but it is essentially wrong to argue that the two nations have cooled off each other since. In fact, having disengaged from ideological background our relationship has become more sincere and warmer than before. These are the sentiments that overwhelmingly prevail in Russia and we are very proud of the unprecedented level of trust and friendship with India. This is true of relationship between the leaders of the two countries irrespective of who is in power in Moscow or New Delhi. This is equally true of feelings of the general public. Trust is the very essence of our relations, something that does not come overnight but is nurtured for years and tested at the times of hardship. If some started to believe otherwise I wish to testify as a longstanding insider officially and personally that they are fundamentally wrong.

Russia and India pursue the same goals on international arena of which the recent BRICS and SCO summits in Ufa are indicative. Prime Minister Modi will visit Russia again by the end of the year for the bilateral summit expected to generate fresher ideas to deepen cooperation at both the global and bilateral levels. Russia is very extensively engaged with India in politics and economy although the latter has been less effective for objective reasons. I would say both the countries are rediscovering each other economically in terms of applying the capacity of private SMEs and start-ups while successfully maintaining traditional cooperation in such areas as hydroelectric power, mechanical engineering, metallurgy, oil and gas industry, petrochemicals etc.

The most promising has been the area of nuclear energy. Russia is the only country practically collaborating with India in the nuclear energy sector. Two state-of-the-art nuclear power units with the world safest light water reactors have already been constructed at the Kudankulam site. Unit 1 is operational and unit 2 is being prepared for attaining criticality. Preparatory works for the construction of units 3 & 4 at the same site are underway.

I would like to reiterate that the Russian engineers have successfully implemented all post-Fukusima safety requirements outlined by the Indian Regulator AERB. A very important factor is the economic viability of the Russian projects. The Kudankulam units offer the most competitive price for electricity strictly corresponding to the figures stipulated by the Indian Government.

It is noteworthy that the Russian-Indian collaboration in the nuclear sphere is not limited to NPP construction. There are joint projects in nuclear science and on aspects of nuclear fuel cycle. Russian and Indian scientists effectively cooperate in research at the Russian Joint Institute of Nuclear Research in Dubna and within the framework of such international projects like ITER programme (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor).

How many reactors will Russia eventually build in India?

I would say as many as you wish us to.

How do you view the ties in the defence sector?

In terms of volume and investments this is by far the most advanced area of bilateral cooperation. The value of our business in military hardware with India is over USD 30 billion, more than India has with all other foreign partners put together. And this business continues to flourish.
Moreover, Russian-Indian military technical cooperation is based on transfer of technology and mutual development of hi-tech platforms, licensed production of modern Russian equipment in India and modernisation of Russian weapons, which are in service with the Indian Armed Forces. This kind of extremely versatile cooperation is hors concours too. By all means Russia and India has a unique partnership within the global military market serving as an enviable example of the combination of trust and benefit.

Currently we are exploring new vistas of cooperation in research and development not only on GtoG but also on BtoB basis. Russian companies are in talks with Reliance Defence and Aerospace (RDA) for possible joint production of ships, submarines and aircraft under the transfer of technology. We have been deeply engaged with HAL for many years, which is India’s major public sector company and Russia’s time-tested and reliable partner. We are looking forward to expanding ties with Indian companies, which have been selected to participate in the “Make in India” programme. Russia is the only country, which has so far started working under this scheme. Again, while others talk, Russians do. Isn’t it the proof of the true strategic character of partnership? I think it is.
What do you think is holding back the signing of the final contract for the Fifth Generation Fighter?

Obviously such a sophisticated aircraft cannot be made overnight. It involves a long process of research and development, which is going on smoothly. This project is identified as a priority one by both countries, and we are committed to complete it as soon as possible.

There is a lot of talk about Russia-Pakistan cooperation. There have been high-profile visits on both sides and agreements have been signed for defence and military cooperation. How do you view this growing relationship in view of your historical ties with India?

Relations, which Russia develops with countries of the world, are not directed against anybody. Particularly, Russia’s policy in South Asia is consistently based on principles of promotion of regional stability and non-interference into the affairs of sovereign states and bilateral disputes. India is our historic and special and privileged strategic partner, and we have always been mindful and will continue to consider in the first place the Indian security concerns. This is our natural choice. The unique level of mutual trust and understanding on almost every issue of the international agenda should leave no scope for doubt about the future of the Russian-Indian ties even for sceptics.

Hence the relations with Pakistan while being independent in nature will never have any designs against India. Islamabad is a very important player in joint efforts to maintain regional stability, especially in view of the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan and growing threats of international terrorism fuelled by ISIS and rampant drug production. These factors require collective counteraction and target-oriented capacity building. And these are exactly the reasons for our recent arrangements with Islamabad on the supply of four Mi-35 helicopters. I would also like to respond to the idle talk and pure invention of the media by reiterating that Russia has not discussed and does not have any plans to sell Su-35 aircraft to Pakistan. 8)
It was reported in the media that when Pakistan chief of army staff General Raheel Sharif visited Russia, a defence and military technical cooperation agreement was signed between the two countries.

The agreement you mentioned pertains to the military cooperation and provides for a general framework for interaction between the armed and security forces and capacity building.
The relations between India and Pakistan are not very good.
Why don’t you informally facilitate talks between the two countries?

Russia entirely supports the normalization of relations between India and Pakistan and the early and peaceful resolution of all contentious issues, including trans-border terrorism and Kashmir. However, we are not in a position to interfere in any bilateral dispute unless we get a specific consensus-based request or invitation. Certainly, we acknowledge the existing legal architecture, which includes the 1972 Shimla Agreement and the 1999 Lahore Declaration urging the two parties to resolve their issues bilaterally. Russia hopes that New Delhi and Islamabad will show further restraint and continue to improve their relations according to the Ufa spirit.
According to one of the basic principles of the SCO Charter the member-countries do not import bilateral issues into the SCO agenda. The same is expected of India and Pakistan. On the contrary, there is a feeling that the SCO may become an additional platform for narrowing down of the differences between the two countries through cooperation.
What does Russia think of China’s One Road One Belt initiative?
We support the Chinese initiative as a promising opportunity to promote trans-regional connectivity in Eurasia and improve linkages between Asia and Europe. A lot of attention is given to the development of transportation and energy potential of the Central Asian countries, from which the neighbouring regions will also benefit. There is a great scope for joint endeavours, and we would welcome the growing Indian participation.Meanwhile increased efforts are being made to expedite the North-South Transport Corridor project, which is designed to enhance connectivity and economic cooperation between South and Central Asia and Europe and harmoniously blends with the Chinese initiative.

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Re: India-Russia: News & Analysis

Postby Cain Marko » 29 Sep 2015 07:13

Hmm, are strategic power blocs being formed here? Russia warming up to tsp, india bring welcomed in the gulf.
China might be heavily influencing roos to cozy up with tsp a bit...iran ,cheen, roos and tsp? Uncle, desh, and gulf states on the other...?

So long as India stays independent in foreign policy, expect both china and US to use munna to keep India in place

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Re: India-Russia: News & Analysis

Postby vishvak » 29 Sep 2015 20:55

So all the talk about selling Su-35 to Pak was just tilting at windmills now, was it? More likely that the Chinese are able to independently go to Syria to extend a helping hand to the Syrian Govt simply because, the Chinese have not invested a lot in defense co-opteration with USA the way Europeans have. In fact, the Chinese have not invested anything at all that way and yet able to go all the way to Syria. The Israel Govt has already had talks with Russian Govt, and Iran has nicely formed a solid side. Soon it will be clear that the only one looking not undisputed in ME are US/EU who tomtom the most about world peace. I think even Saudis, and rest of Araps, will know when to keep quite when things turn bad for ISIL. There is a lesson in here to be independent as much as possible.

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Re: India-Russia: News & Analysis

Postby Karan M » 01 Oct 2015 19:12

Austin, are you tracking the Russian air strikes in Syria? Or their ramifications. Very interesting and completely upends Israel and the west's plans for Syria.

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Re: India-Russia: News & Analysis

Postby Austin » 01 Oct 2015 19:15

Karan M wrote:Austin, are you tracking the Russian air strikes in Syria? Or their ramifications. Very interesting and completely upends Israel and the west's plans for Syria.


Yes as far at possible in West Asia Thread , Do Visit

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Re: India-Russia: News & Analysis

Postby Karan M » 01 Oct 2015 20:14

Brilliant! Thanks

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Re: India-Russia: News & Analysis

Postby Austin » 06 Oct 2015 09:46

PAK-FA is an Evolving Aircraft. Right Now, work is Underway to Build a Prototype That Both Russia and India Wants

Ambassador of India to the Russian Federation, P.S. Raghavan

http://forceindia.net/Interview_PSRaghavan.aspx ( FORCE Magazine OCTOBER )

There is a sentiment that the India-Russia relationship does not have the same momentum that it did in the past. How real is this feeling?

This may be the sense of one segment within Russia. It is neither widespread nor true. If ever there was a dip in the relationship it was in the Nineties. However, by the beginning of the decade of 2000, the relationship picked up. President Vladimir Putin had expressed a public desire for strengthening the ties and we had responded equally enthusiastically. The sense that you are talking about has come up in the last four or five years; particularly in the defence sector. Because there were a number of projects that were announced or discussed but were seen by some as not making sufficient headway. Hence, it appeared that there was some sort of cooling off, but this is more a matter of perception than reality. Moreover, these things are episodic. Every time India buys something from the United States, it is magnified several times and there is disappointment in some circles in Russia.

Yet, if you look at our defence purchases, and the dependence our armed forces have on Russian platforms, it will be a long, long time before the relationship is affected and our dependence on Russia as the basic supplier of defence equipment is reduced.

The specific complaint that the Russian industry has is that India has started to buy equipment through Foreign Military Sale (FMS) route from the United States, whereas Russian companies have to compete ?


It is the government’s decision to diversify defence purchases to some extent. As our Prime Minister said, we have options and we are availing those options; however, even as we avail those options, Russia will remain our biggest defence partner. We cannot stop acquiring from other countries and Russia does not have a problem with that. As long as we remain committed to the programmes we have charted out with Russia, we can move forward in a purposeful manner.

So there is nothing wrong in our relationship with Russia at a macro level?


There is nothing wrong in our bilateral relationship at the fundamental level. Yes, there was occasionally a sense of drift in recent years, but then things are changing. Our new government is also committed to strengthening the Russia relationship. In the joint press conference with President Putin last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that while we may have choices, Russia will remain our primary defence partner. He added that Russia has stood with us in our times of need. The instructions given to us are that we have to take forward the bilateral relationship with great vigour. There is disappointment in some quarters because certain programmes are not moving as quickly as the Russians would want them to. But actually if one sees carefully then a lot of things are happening.

What are these things?


At the same press conference last year, Prime Minister announced joint manufacture of helicopters in India. This is a new project to manufacture Kamov 226T. Now we are moving ahead on this programme. We have asked the Russians to come to India with a business plan, complete with timelines and technical specifications. We met up with the Russian Helicopters here at this show also. We are going to start the technical discussion very soon as to how the joint manufacturing would happen. The aircraft is well-known to us; it had also undergone trials in India earlier.

In terms of Make in India, how will the production happen? Will it be in partnership with a private sector or public sector company?

The Make in India model envisages that the foreign original equipment manufacturer (OEM) form a joint venture (JV) with an Indian partner. This joint venture company then becomes the manufacturer of the aircraft and will negotiate the contract with the government. There are certain conditions which the government of India has laid down, which will have to be met by this JV. These pertain to technical specifications, indigenisation, timelines, transfer of technology etc. Once these are negotiated, a business plan for production can be finalised. A government to government agreement will also be signed for the realisation of the programme.

The OEM is free to choose its partner. It could be anyone, a private sector or a public sector company. It could even be Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) if the OEM so decides. Since the helicopters will be made in India by the JV, there is no specific offset obligation. However, the concept of offsets would come in through technologies transferred, IPR transfer and through our ability to then export the aircraft.
It is possible that initially some helicopters may come in the form of completely knocked down (CKD) or semi knocked down (SKD) condition because we may want to induct some quickly. It is also possible that they may not be able to transfer some technology because it may not be theirs to begin with. But within these limitations, the idea of Make in India is that we have to maximise technology transfer.

How will this be different from the current programme of Su-30MKI where HAL is manufacturing the aircraft in India on Transfer of Technology (ToT)?


That is not Make in India in the same way. That is licensed production. HAL is assembling the fighters under licensed production from Russia. There is a certain element of ToT, but it is not large. What we are talking about is a bigger ToT to be determined by negotiations. The components would be eventually manufactured in India as well as the aircraft. There will be genuine ToT and transfer of IPR. Moreover, we will be able to export as well.

What is holding up the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) programme?


There was a lack of progress in the last few months, but we believe that we have now resolved several technical issues that were pending. Both the Indian Air Force (IAF) and HAL have had discussions with the Russians on issues that were hanging fire.

But given that the Russian FGFA has already been flying for the last few years, where does India’s role in joint development fit in? Won’t we be buying a ready aircraft?


It was always the case that there was a Russian aircraft on which work was proceeding to develop stealth features. You saw a version of this being demonstrated at the MAKS Air Show. Basically, FGFA will be an aircraft with advanced stealth capabilities. When it was first envisaged, it was decided that we would work on progressively adding stealth features to an existing basic aircraft model until it reaches the required technical capabilities. This is why even today, even with the aircraft flying, it is work in progress. Our objective is to develop an aircraft with agreed technical parameters.

Will it be fair to say that like Su-30MKI, we will ask the Russians to incorporate Indian specifications, including indigenous elements, in the FGFA for the IAF, given that the Russians seem to have frozen the design of the fighter?


It is not correct to say that the design has been frozen. PAK-FA is an evolving aircraft. Right now, work is underway to build a prototype that both Russia and India wants. There was a preliminary design phase whose objective was to deliver the first prototype for the work to begin. That phase is over. Now we are negotiating on the final design phase where the prototype would be frozen. Once this is done, we will enter the production phase, when issues of weaponisation would be discussed and finalised.

Given this when can we expect the agreement to be signed?


I can’t answer this. Both the IAF and HAL are currently engaged in technical discussions with the Russians. Signing of the agreement will depend upon the pace of the negotiations.

What is the update on Medium Transport Aircraft?

It is at a similar stage at the moment. We are going through technical and price negotiations. We need to reach a product that meets our technical requirements at a price which is viable over its life cycle.

Does it mean that we may decide not to go ahead with the programme?


We have a joint venture and we are continuing our discussions. As long as both are in place, there is no reason to believe that we will not go ahead with the programme.

What is our position on the Russian overtures, including sale of defence equipment, to Pakistan? It seems that the two are keen on building a defence relationship, given the high profile visits by military and political leaders on both side.


We have been hearing about the sale of some defence equipment by Russia to Pakistan for the last year and a half, and other interactions as you mention. But, rather than comment on Russia’s relationship with Pakistan, I would say that India-Russia defence ties are at a level of intensity and trust that pre-supposes a clear understanding of mutual security concerns. For India, this means we would not like to see any present or potential adversary armed with defence equipment that could impact on our security. I believe Russia is sensitive to this concern of ours and we have seen official Russian statements to this effect.

The second point here is that, whenever we buy anything from Russia we would like to make sure, one, that it is better than what is available to us from anywhere in the world; and two, that the same technology and performance levels of the equipment are not being made available to others.

I reiterate the point that volume of our defence contracts with Russia, whether it is direct purchase or co-development, is huge. We are Russia’s number one defence customer. Even if we try, it will take longer than a generation to move away from Russian defence equipment. But we are not trying to veer away from Russia. All these new projects are getting us further engaged with Russia. Defence projects also have a gestation period. They can’t have the same level of turnover continuously. If you recall, from 2012 to 2014, so many Russian platforms were inducted into our army, air force and navy. Obviously, there follows a period of relative lull when new projects are being discussed and perhaps don’t move at the pace one would like them to.

What progress have we made with Russia on Glonass?


Glonass has multiple applications and Russia is very keen to develop those applications in India. They are already in touch with a number of private players to roll out these applications. As far as I know, they want to talk with Antrix Corporation about manufacturing their receivers in India. These will be multi-system receivers, which will be able to receive Glonass and IRNSS signals.

Will they allow us to have military resolution on Glonass?


That is a matter of negotiation.

Till a few years ago, one heard a lot about Indian investments in Sakhalin, but it seems to have quietened now. What is the update on the energy sector?


Sakhalin-I has been ONGC’s most profitable investment abroad. But ONGC also invested in Imperial Energy’s oilfields in Tomsk about six-seven years ago, and this is where it has been having problems. The geological conditions have made it difficult to viably extract oil here. It’s a phenomenon called tight oil. This raised questions about the viability of the project. Now they are developing some new technologies to overcome that. This may have somewhat slowed Indian investments in Russia’s energy sector.

But now the situation is looking up once again and India has come back with vigour to invest in hydrocarbons. Prime Minister Modi told President Putin in December last year that since India is an energy-hungry country and Russia is an energy-surplus one, we need to have a strategic vision for cooperation in hydrocarbons. ONGC is currently negotiating some investment projects in Siberia. A lot is happening in other areas too. Essar Group has signed a long term agreement for purchase of oil. Rosneft has picked up 49 per cent shares in an Essar refinery in Gujarat. GAIL has an agreement to lift LNG from Russia. In addition, a joint working group has been formed for a feasibility study on building a gas pipeline from Russia to India. We already have cooperation in nuclear energy which is doing very well, but hydrocarbon is an area of great promise. Russia is very keen that we invest in projects in East Siberia and the Arctic region.

Given all this, what are your priority areas to further deepen the bilateral relationship?


We have a special and privileged strategic partnership with Russia. This is what we call it. To sustain and justify it, we need to develop all pillars of it equally. One pillar which is relatively weaker is trade. Reviving Rouble-Rupee trade is easier said than done, though two central banks are actually working on the possibility. We expect their report in a few months. Earlier we could trade in Rouble-Rupee, because both currencies were non-convertible. Today, we have a convertible Rouble and a partially convertible Rupee, so it is difficult to trade. But let’s be clear, Rouble-Rupee trade is not a panacea – a solution to weak economic ties. Trade can only grow when both countries want to buy each other’s products. We need greater promotional efforts.

The other area is investments. I have already spoken about hydrocarbons. The other areas that we are interested in are natural resources. Russia is the richest country as far as natural resources are concerned. We are now looking at fertilisers, white coal and some other resources.

Nuclear energy has developed very well and has the potential of growing fast. This also fits into our plans. We have put in a very ambitious plan in the last summit meeting, that we will develop at least 12 reactors in two decades. We have two at present; the second one will be commissioned soon. We have already signed the general framework agreement for three and four. We will start the spadework for reactors five and six soon, because these things take time.

Even in the defence sector, there is so much in the pipeline that all we need is focussed attention to see the programme through to completion. Unfortunately, the media focuses on big ticket items because they make instant news. But actually there are so many small projects, amounting to a lot of money, which are being done quietly.

Product support is one of the recurring problems with Russian equipment. While Indian companies complain of poor support by the Russian OEMs, they feel constraint because all transactions happen through Rosoboronexport. Why can’t Indian users deal with the Russian companies directly, at least in respect of spares etc?


Over the last one or two years, we have been discussing the after-sale product support issue constantly with the Russians. Since then, 23 OEMs, by the decree of President Putin, have been given the right to deal directly with the Indian users for servicing, upgradation, repair and maintenance of Russian platforms. So, they are now able come to India directly to resolve these issues with the Indian users and industrial partners. Why do you think 30 Indian companies came to MAKS and secretary, department of defence production took the time and effort to preside over a special Make in India session with Indian and Russian arms companies. Indian companies are very keen to start this process and the Russians are conscious of the fact that after sales support is crucial to selling more of their equipment in India. The Indian Embassy in Russia, along with the Russian ministry of industry & trade, organised another interaction of Indian and Russian companies during the Show. The second such conference will be organised in India soon.

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Re: India-Russia: News & Analysis

Postby Austin » 06 Oct 2015 09:48

So what could be the project done quietly ?

Even in the defence sector, there is so much in the pipeline that all we need is focussed attention to see the programme through to completion. Unfortunately, the media focuses on big ticket items because they make instant news. But actually there are so many small projects, amounting to a lot of money, which are being done quietly.

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Re: India-Russia: News & Analysis

Postby Austin » 07 Oct 2015 14:19

BrahMos on Su-30MKI to be flight-tested early next year

http://www.forceindia.net/NowintheAir.aspx

some synopsis

According to Mishra, “the flight test of the BrahMos air launched version (on Su-30MKI) is planned for February-March 2016. We think that one flight test would be enough after which the air version would be cleared for production.” As the user has been co-opted in this venture by BrahMos Aerospace from the beginning, more flight tests would be unnecessary, he said.

Elaborating on the six steps for the air version, of which two are over, Mishra disclosed that structural modifications on Su-30MKI have been done by HAL (Nasik). According to him, “the Russian Sukhoi design bureau was approached. After two years of negotiations, the price that they quoted for structural modifications was exorbitant. This is when HAL took on the challenge and showed desired results which were successfully demonstrated in middle of 2014-2015.”

The second successfully demonstrated step has been the ‘launcher realisation’, which has been designed, developed and produced by BrahMos Aerospace. Mishra said that, “the DGQA has already given conditional clearance for the launcher implying that mechanical and electrical activities needed for the launcher on aircraft have been vindicated.”

The third step, according to Mishra, will be the integration of missile with the launcher for flights in various profiles. Once done, this will be followed by the ‘Drop Test” to ascertain the behaviour of the missile once released from the aircraft. The fifth step would be to integrate sensors with the missile and to ensure that there is no ‘major deviation between the theoretical and demonstrated parameters.’ The last step would be the ‘flight test in total configuration.’

Once the final flight test is done, two Su-30 aircraft will be flight-tested by ASTE, Bangalore (user) as the precursor to unspecified numbers of aircraft being armed with the BrahMos missile. According to Mishra, there are numerous agencies involved in the flight test. These include Cemilac, DARE, NAL, DG AQA, RCMA, MSQAA, HAL, ASTE (Bangalore), SDI and the project office of BrahMos’ to name a few.

On BrahMos-M, Mishra said plenty of work has been done and ‘we are in touch with the user (Indian Air Force). “BrahMos-M will be a new design. A compact engine with better energy propellant which will not compromise on 300km range; lighter weight with less diameter; speed of 3.3 Mach; and better packing and routing of pipes with computer-aided design.”

To ascertain the feasibility of BrahMos-M, three steps have been initiated. One, HAL has done some preliminary studies. Two, DRDO has conducted design studies which will be shared with Russian NPOM partner. And three, Russia is willing to develop the new propulsion system keeping BrahMos Aerospace in the loop. This is not all

The seeker for BrahMos-M will have sufficient redundancies to include anti-radiation, Radio Frequency and Imaging Infra-Red. The guidance in addition to the present G3 combination will also come from indigenous satellite navigation constellation — IRNSS — which will have a total of seven satellites of which three have been placed in space.”


The BrahMos-M with a weight of 1.4 ton for the air force version and 1.6 ton for the navy version will be a breakthrough. “We expect five BrahMos-M to be carried by Su-30 (two each on the wings and one on the belly), and two each missile with the MiG-29K and the fifth generation fighter aircraft being co-developed with Russia.” Thus, “BrahMos-M is ready to be moved from the drawing board to real work once the government gives the green light.”

The hypersonic BrahMos, Mishra reflected, “is on the drawing board.” BrahMos envisages a hypersonic engine to replace the present supersonic. “It is envisaged to provide speed of Mach 5. It will follow different aerodynamic laws; and have different propulsion, materials, electronics, data links and suppliers,” said Mishra adding that, “We (BrahMos and DRDO) are already working on the engine and hope to test it in five years.”

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Re: India-Russia: News & Analysis

Postby SSridhar » 08 Oct 2015 06:08

India’s ties with Russia are freezing over - G.Parthasarathy, Business Line
President Vladimir Putin talked tough on Syria in his New York meeting with President Barack Obama. He signalled that Russia was no longer prepared to acquiesce in unilateral American actions in West Asia, despite American sanctions imposed on it, following its actions in Ukraine and Crimea.

What has emerged is a more assertive Russian role to challenge destabilising and disastrous American policies in Iraq, Libya and most notably Syria. Ill-advised American actions in West Asia have resulted in the rise of the barbaric ISIL and a massive refugee exodus from conflict zones, which has destabilised Europe. What is now emerging is an unannounced Russia-China partnership backed by Iran, Iraq and the Assad dispensation in Damascus, to counter American unilateralism and dominance in West Asia.

Strong response

Coincidentally, these Russian moves coincided with a visit to New Delhi on September 15 by Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov. The Russian envoy focused attention on the expansion of membership of the UN Security Council and the situation in Syria. Gatilov paid lip service to support for India’s candidature for permanent membership of the Security Council. Moscow, thereafter, chose to join China and Pakistan in seeking to undermine the G- 4 initiative in the General Assembly, which aimed for an early decision on restructuring the Security Council.

Interestingly, no meeting was scheduled between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Putin in New York. Moscow has made no secret of its concerns about the US getting an increasing share in defence acquisitions by India.

Faced with unrelenting American hostility and sanctions, Russia now appears to have taken a decision to respond strongly in West Asia and elsewhere. It will strengthen its partnership with China, even if it involves acting as a junior partner of China in crucial areas like the Afpak region and in Central Asia, where China has seized effective control of access to energy resources. This has eroded the historical dominance of Moscow in the oil and gas sectors, in its south-eastern, Central Asian neighbourhood.

In Afghanistan, Russia plays a silent partner to Chinese-Pakistani initiatives seeking ‘reconciliation’ with the Taliban. This is happening even as the Taliban, joined by the remnants of Chechen resistance and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, seizes control of Kunduz, sending shivers down the spines of neighbouring Central Asian states, such as Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.

Softening towards Pakistan?

There has also been a noticeable shift on relations with Pakistan, now described by Russian academics as Russia’s “South Asian gatekeeper”, and even on Pakistan-sponsored terrorism. The India-Russia joint statement in 2003 called for Pakistan “to dismantle the terrorist infrastructure in Pakistan and Pakistan controlled territory (POK).”

The Russians now avoid mentioning any linkage between Pakistan and terrorism.
This became noticeable after Pakistan’s foreign minister, Hina Rabbani Khar, and army chief, General Kayani, visited Moscow in 2012 and issues of Russian defence supplies were broached.

What followed was an agreement for Russia to supply RD 93 engines directly for JF 17 fighters being assembled in Pakistan with Chinese collaboration. Things moved further ahead after the visit of General Raheel Sharif to Russia, with Sergei Ryabkov, the deputy foreign minister, describing Pakistan as Moscow’s “closest partner” and promising to supply Pakistan advanced Sukhoi 35 fighters and MI 35 attack helicopters. Sukhoi 35 fighters are also being sold to China. Cash-strapped Pakistan, slated to acquire Israeli-designed advanced J 10 fighters from China, can hardly afford to pay for Russian fighter aircraft.

The modernisation of China’s arsenal over the last two decades has largely come about by the acquisition of equipment ranging from fighter aircraft and surface-to-air missiles, to warships, from Russia. Moscow is, however, less than happy at the manner in which China has violated copyrights and reverse engineered defence equipment it has supplied to Beijing. But Moscow has few options now, faced with the falling prices of oil, gas and other natural resources, amidst growing concerns in western Europe about excessive dependence on oil and gas supplies from Russia At the same time, Russia is miffed at the manner in which China reneged on a $400-billion, 30-year agreement on purchase of Russian natural gas, reached with Putin last year.

Grandiose plans


Russia is seeking to complement its own plans for a ‘Eurasian Union’ with China’s grandiose ‘one belt one road’ initiative, while envisaging expanding economic connectivity with Iran, Saarc and China. Its strategic thinkers would like to construct an Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline and extend it to China while hoping that India could be persuaded to go along, even if the pipeline is constructed through POK. The military dimensions of this thinking can be gleaned from the fact that in recent months there have been joint military exercises between China and Russia not only on Pacific shores, but also, for the first time, on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, even as Moscow was planning its Syrian deployments.

It remains to be seen whether, given its economic limitations, Moscow can fulfil these grandiose plans. It will live to regret its U-turn on the Taliban, once the impact of Taliban medievalism is felt by its Central Asian partners. While the Taliban may appear like “good guys” in comparison to the ISIL, which has been reinforced by hundreds of Chechens, there is nothing to suggest that the Taliban have changed their ideological inclinations, or forsaken their erstwhile Chechen and Central Asian partners. Nor is there any reason to believe that groups such as the Lashkar-e-Taiba and the Haqqani Network are going to abandon their Islamist propensities.

India has experienced Moscow’s flirtations with Pakistan and China in the past and seen them end in disappointment for Russia. Moreover, the Russians cannot forget the enthusiasm with which Mao and Deng made U-turns to embrace the US and dumped them. New Delhi will hopefully strengthen its extensive engagement with Moscow and advise it on how best its firms can take advantage of its new ‘Make in India’ policies, while strengthening their robust defence partnership. At the same time, Moscow would be well advised to understand precisely what India’s concerns are.

The writer is a former High Commissioner to Pakistan



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