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R-I-C: Russians In Charge

Russia does have a presence, although an invisible one, in the efforts to restore peace in the Sino-Indian border! The diplomatic sources have revealed that Moscow encouraged Indian External Affairs Minister Dr Subrahmanyam Jaishankar to make a phone call to Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, shortly after the Armed Forces of the two neighbouring Asian countries clashed with one another in the Galwan Valley near Ladakh on June 15, 2020. According to sources, Kremlin has urged both Beijing and New Delhi to resolve the Border Crisis through peaceful negotiation, without any Third Party Mediation.

Dr Jaishankar with Wang Yi

New Delhi has constantly been discussing the Sino-Indian Border issue with Moscow at different levels, as Russia considers both India and China as Friends! External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar, Indian Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla and Indian Ambassador to Moscow D B Venkatesh Varma held several rounds of talks with the top Russian officials before Dr S Jaishankar’s arrival in Moscow for the RIC (Russia-India-China) Trilateral Meeting on June 23. It is to be noted that Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh, too, reached Moscow on June 23 to meet the Russian officials. While Dr S Jaishankar discussed the border issue with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on the sidelines of the RIC Meeting, Singh requested the Russians to export S-400 anti-missile equipment to India as soon as possible…

It is to be noted that India recently discouraged US President Donald Trump to mediate between New Delhi and Beijing over the border issue. Some diplomats have expressed serious concern over the recent development, saying that the renewed rapprochement with Old Friend Russia might upset the balance of India’s ties with Strategic Partner US. It depends on how President Trump will see the entire episode. Moreover, why is Russia taking so much interest in the Sino-Indian border conflict?

Diplomats are of the opinion that each country is exploiting the other for serving its own interests, here. Although their interests are different, they are closely linked with Commerce and Geopolitics. There is no reason for the US to be contented about the whole set of affairs. At the same time, it can be said that the current developments in Asia would not damage the Indo-US Relations. President Trump wanted to play the mediator’s role because he loves to see to it that Deals get made. Still, Russia’s involvement in the Sino-Indian Diplomatic Game would not hurt him because the US President, too, is eager to improve his country’s ties with Moscow. As New Delhi is trying to resolve the ongoing border crisis with China with the help of Russia, the US may use India to reach out to Russia for its own needs in the future…

Former Indian Diplomat Ranen Sen recalled that then US President Ronald Regan had requested former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi to help resolve the Afghan crisis by holding talks with Mikhail Gorbachev, the last President of the erstwhile Soviet Union. Meanwhile, Sen has advised the Government of India to inform the US about the current tension with China. It is a fact that the US does not want India to import arms from Russia, but the Indo-Russian deal over the S-400 anti-missile equipment is an old one, and Washington is well aware of this deal. Moreover, the US does not manufacture this sort of accessories to weaponry. So, the Trump Administration should not be worried about it.

Meanwhile, India believes that the US’ involvement in the Sino-Indian crisis would certainly have a negative impact, keeping in mind the deteriorating ties between Washington and Beijing over the COVID-19 outbreak. On the other hand, Beijing and Moscow maintain friendly ties. Moscow, too, wants that India and China to maintain cordial ties; as the two Asian giants are the biggest consumers of the Russian products. Also, there is a geopolitical aspect. Currently, Russia chairs three multilateral blocs: RIC, BRICS and SCO. And, both India and China are members of these three groups. As Russia is trying hard to maintain Global Peace by utilising these platforms, Kremlin is interested in ensuring peaceful coexistence between China and India in Asia.

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