nvishal wrote:The mysterious question is - "what do the russians want?" wrt to india china.
Our current policy of trying to avoid a conflict with china strongly mirrors the 62 situation. IMO, china had come to the "this world not big for both" conclusion in 62 itself. I think its important to know what the russians want.
That's quite straightforward. They want the BRICS & SCO to evolve into security partnerships (to counter NATO) with Russia as the first among equals, while the AIIB & NDB, rightfully dominated by China, emerge as counterweights to the Bretton Woods institutions.
Those are strategic agreements. They are meant for the US to move against russia.
The US isn't anywhere as concerned with Russia over the long term as it is with China. Despite the slick visuals from Syria, the Russia GDP is still only $2 trillion (now $1.2 trillion after the recent crash and devaluation) and in conventional military terms, its far outmatched by just the EU (to say nothing of the US).
The US plans to use the india-china tension to get india to sign. I think you can imagine what will happen to the russia-india relationship if we sign.
Contrary to Philip's rosy-eyed fantasy about two like hearts meeting, falling in love, and dancing around trees, the Russia-India or rather the Soviet-India relationship was a product of cold hard realpolitik, a policy no more idealistic than Nixon's ping-pong diplomacy with China.
In the 50s, both superpowers wanted to co-opt India into their respective spheres of influence while India chose to tread its own path of non-alliance. Which is why in 1962, when the Indo-China broke out, the Russians didn't lift a finger to help us (thanks to communist solidarity) while the US rushed in aid, promising quite a bit more (thanks to anti-communism solidarity).
By the late 60s, the PRC-USSR relationship had soured culminating in the brief but bitter 1969 Sino-Soviet border conflict. The US saw the opportunity to opportunity to permanently slice the PRC off from the Soviet sphere and forged a new strategic relationship with Mao, ideology be damned.
This led to an unprecedented convergence of Soviet and Indian interests (anti-US + anti-China), laying the basis for the Indo-Soviet Friendship treaty of 1971, non-alignment be damned.
All well and good until the late 80s when the wheels started to come off the Soviet economy. The Berlin Wall broke up, US and China broke up and then the USSR itself broke up.
The first thing the new Russian successor state did was to 'normalize' relations with China, a key component being large scale supplies of military equipment and technology, partnership with India be damned.
If we look back, the one factor that every one of them
, including India, had in common was that they were looking out for their own national interests first and foremost.
As things stand, the Indo-Russian relationship has been sustaining itself on historical bonhomie for quite a long time but the cracks, emerging from a lack of genuine strategic congruence, are beginning to show. It isn't personal, we have no notable bilateral disputes, its just that, for better or worse, our interests are diverging.
Russia has little interest in India's tussle with Pakistan. India has little interest in Russia's tussle with Ukraine. Russia feels somewhat threatened by the US and its European allies and welcomes (to an extent) the presence of a rich and powerful China. India feels somewhat threatened by a rich and powerful China and welcomes (to an extent) the presence of the US and its Pacific allies.
We can blame India for moving closer to US, or blame Russia for (first) tying up with China or we can accept that its just geopolitics.