Russia And Pakistan Plan Joint Military Exercise. Is Moscow Drifting Away From New Delhi?

by Swarajya Staff - Sep 13, 2016 07:29 AM
Russia And Pakistan Plan Joint Military Exercise. Is Moscow Drifting Away From New Delhi?(Vladimir Astapkovich / Host Photo Agency/Ria Novosti via Getty Images)

Russia’s joint naval exercise with China in the South China Sea and a go-ahead for the first-ever joint military exercise with Pakistan later this year marks an apparent shift in Moscow’s outlook towards the region.

Around 200 military personnel from Russia and Pakistan are set to take part in the joint military exercises, The Express Tribune has quoted a senior Pakistani official as saying. Though far from unusual, these developments are significant in view of India’s increasing defence cooperation with the United States.

Though talked about in recent times, a shift in Russia’s standpoint is most visible and now reinforced by increasing high-level interactions between Moscow and Islamabad. Over the last 15 months, the chiefs of Pakistan’s Army, Navy and Air Force have travelled to Russia, signalling the growing defence ties between the two countries.

This surge in engagement comes at a time when Islamabad’s relations with Washington have deteriorated following latter’s refusal to finance Pakistan’s purchase of F-16s warplanes. In view of the improving relations, reports suggest, Islamabad might be interested in buying advance Russian warplanes. In 2015, the two countries inked a major defence deal for the sale of four Mi-35 ‘Hind-E’ attack helicopters to Pakistan.

While Russia’s engagement with China does not mark a major shift in Moscow’s policy, the fact that the two are engaging in the South China Sea – an area where India’s stand is seen more aligned to that of the United States – is important to note.

With New Delhi and Washington engaging in Afghanistan and the Indo-Pacific and finding more in common in areas of shared interest, other players in the region – Beijing, Islamabad and Moscow – are sure to look for issues to engage in.

Amidst the apparent strategic shift and realignment in the region, New Delhi should hold its policy of strategic autonomy to manage the blowbacks of its engagement with the United States, thereby maintaining the strategic balance of power in Asia.

Get Swarajya in your inbox everyday. Subscribe here.

An Appeal...

Dear Reader,

As you are no doubt aware, Swarajya is a media product that is directly dependent on support from its readers in the form of subscriptions. We do not have the muscle and backing of a large media conglomerate nor are we playing for the large advertisement sweep-stake.

Our business model is you and your subscription. And in challenging times like these, we need your support now more than ever.

We deliver over 10 - 15 high quality articles with expert insights and views. From 7AM in the morning to 10PM late night we operate to ensure you, the reader, get to see what is just right.

Becoming a Patron or a subscriber for as little as Rs 1200/year is the best way you can support our efforts.

Become A Patron
Become A Subscriber
Comments
Get Swarajya in your inbox everyday. Subscribe here.
Advertisement

Latest Articles

    Artboard 4Created with Sketch.